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Opinion / National

Victoria Falls name must fall now

29 Jul 2020 at 13:05hrs | Views
MONUMENTS and cities named after the departed are designed to honour people, and to keep those honourees and what they stood for alive in our collective memory. Therefore, I am left to wonder as black majority Zimbabweans what are we honouring by letting the pride of our nation Motsi wa-Tunya Falls remain named after the queen, a woman who presided over the evil empire.

I believe that the name Victoria Falls shall fall and be replaced with Motsi waTunya, its real name, in honour of the indigenous Tonga people who named it first before the so-called David Livingston, who viewed our ancestors as savages, set foot on it. For the following three reasons, the name must go.

First, real heroes are the ones that pass the test of time. Their contributions do not wither under the constantly changing standards set by generations that follow. We do not have writings or utterances of Victoria on what she thought about Africans, as it's their custom not to comment in public. However, we can peer through her actions to see what she thought about us Africans.

On October 29, 1889, Victoria approved a charter that granted Cecil John Rhodes sovereign power to run our beloved country as a private company under the disguise of the so-called Rudd Concession agreement of October 30, 1888.

That charter led to murder, violence, massacres, hanging, land grab, displacement into reserves, theft, looting of mineral, subjugation, enslavement, discrimination and apartheid against our people being muted by Rhodes and his men.

That evil was made possible by Victoria's ascent to the charter. Today, that raging fire is still affecting us 200 years on. Should we continue to honour her for this unbearable pain and suffering that our people continue to shoulder today?

Second, when Lobengula later discovered what the concession really meant. He sent izinduna Babayane and Mshete to try and renounce it, but Victoria paid no heed. The queen had no intentions of even hearing their plea. Some accounts stated that she was fond of Rhodes's imperial ideas. As they say "svimbo inoperera pana mambo", which means "as the sceptre of authority is passed among the council, it stops at the chief".

Victoria had a chance to be counted, she did not want to listen to the African. Her desire for her race to dominate over the black race drove her, thus all the evils of the empire surely stops at her feet. For that reason alone, she should never be honoured on our beloved continent.

Third, we are told that changing the name would lead to a decline in the number of tourists. That is a fear-mongering argument from those who still want to continue to perpetuate the insults that our forbearers and our generation continues to suffer.

Let's us tear down names that bring hate and pain to our collective memory, and honour our ancestors who fought with bravery and love for our continent. So let us erase the memory and curse in our living consciousness and our land by removing Victoria from our sacred sites.

Let us remove David Livingstone and other monuments from the Falls and put them in a museum and replace them with monuments and sculptures of local people. If that means reduced revenues from tourism, it's a price that me and my fellow countrymen are willing to pay.

Tendai Kamba in Laramie Woming, USA


Source - newsday
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