Talent Chimutambgi-Arts Reporter
For the past two years, Heroes Day was not celebrated live in every province in line with Covid-19 containment restrictions regulations, thus depriving revellers of their much needed interaction.
This year was different, following the recession of the pandemic, people celebrated the Heroes Day in their respective provinces and traditional venues live, convening diverse activities.
People gathered at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) to mark the day’s commemorations with music and dance.
Artistes from diverse musical genres showcased their talents to the people who thronged the venue.
Music played a pivotal role during Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, and it also played a role in the Heroes Day celebrations this year.
War songs provoked people’s thoughts, feelings and mood to fight for the liberation of the country.
Slogans, songs and music that was sung and performed during the war of liberation instilled hope in the liberation fighters and the masses, as they gave them the strength to continue fighting until the attainment of the new Zimbabwe.
The liberation songs that were inextricably linked to the hard-fought struggle were the bedrock of boosting the fighters’ morale.
Even in the post-independence era, people still exhibited their patriotism through song and dance.
The gala was graced by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, and her Deputy Kindness Paradza as well as Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana.
Deputy Minister Kindness Paradza led the observance of a minute of silence in respect of a veteran artist Cont Mhlanga who died recently.
“Thank you all for coming to the celebrations, but before that let’s all observe a minute of silence in honour of our great artist Cont who passed on recently leaving a void in the arts industry,” he said.
Permanent Secretary Mangwana paid tribute to the fallen and living heroes insisting Zimbabweans have every reason to celebrate this milestone came about supreme sacrifices of our founding fathers.
Mangwana called on the audience to embrace President Mnangagwa’s mantra of “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” through the spirit of oneness.
“As Government, we believe in both sports and culture as 22 well as arts. All is associated with the development of our country which came as a result of the great sacrifices of the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who through their selflessness led us to this day. It is our great day to us all as we pay homage to both living heroes and those who passed on. We celebrate them in diverse ways, through music and arts,” said Mangwana.
“This isn’t a new phenomenon we are doing. In 1980 Bob Marley lit the country’s independence celebrations with music. So what I can say to the people of Zimbabwe is today is our day, come let’s celebrate our heroes and our founding fathers whose revolutionary spirit had spurred decolonisation till today,” said Mangwana.
Seasoned Afro-pop group Mafikizolo jetted from South Africa to add flavour to the commemorations and lit up the stage to full blossom. Composer Theo Kgosinkwe and lead singer Nhlanhla Nciza did not quench the insatiable thirst of the people as they left them yearning for more. The group was later joined on stage by Minister Mutsvangwa and her husband Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa..
She could not hide her joy as she dance together with Sandra Ndebele before she joined Mafikizolo group.
Gospel musician Agatha Murudzwa took to the stage early, setting the pace with her group of dancers displaying energetic dancing skill.
All generations were fully represented, Enzo Ishall whose real name Kudzanai Mamhare united all the people in the hall.
His hit songs “Kanjiva” and “Ndaombera Maoko Mhamha,” were well received by the audience.
The younger generation was adequately represented with music from Roki, Van Choga and many others.
The “Favour” hitmaker Mathias Mhere came in and took to the stage with various songs which brought the attention of everyone.
Speaking after the performance, Mhere thanked the Government for making strides in supporting artistes of varying backgrounds.
He performed songs like “Vimba naJehovha”, “Nhoroondo”, “Favour”, “Ndisahwira Wako Here”, and “Wehumambo Nditarire” and left revellers demanding more from him.
“As artistes we want to thank the New Dispensation for embracing musicians, we feel very encouraged and the Government is recognising us all despite our diverse backgrounds,” said Mhere.
Other artistes performed included Zora music guru Leonard Zhakata, seasoned gospel artiste Amos Mahendere, as well as Afro popstar Andy Muridzo.
Mahendere said he felt honoured to perform on such great national occasions in respect of the fallen and living heroes.
“I feel humbled to continually perform on such great event, it’s an honour from the Government. All I can say is thank you Lord because he is the supreme being who qualifies us on every event.
“Finally, I want to thank the Government led by President Mnangagwa for the unwavering support they are rendering to artiste,” said Mahendere.