Uhuru festivities live to their billing Chief Hwenje in khakhi trousers with his band on stage.

Talent ChimutambgiLifestyle Writer 

Murambinda Growth Point is not an ordinary place. Never!

They came in droves, on foot, on donkey and ox-drawn carts, on bicycles, and even wheel chairs.

Women came with children in tow and others strapped on their backs. Girls came dressed to kill, their hairstyles as spectacular as ever , sprinkled with a hodgepodge of make-up, giving testimony to their independence.

Men carried children on their shoulders, their wives beside them, and equally dressed for the occasion.

In the final analysis it was the colour, the mood and the hairstyle, that told the story of Zimbabweans in their broad totality.

Being the nerve centre for the vast swathe of land called Buhera, (the white Rhodesian colonial settler regime’s mispronunciation of Uhera), Murambinda occupies a special place in the history of Zimbabwe.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere (centre), the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana (second from right), Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Advocate Misheck Mugadza (left), Local Government Minister Winston Chitando (second from left) and other senior Government officials dance on stage during the Independence music gala on Thursday night in Murambinda. – Picture: @InfoMinZw.

Uhera is the cradle of a huge clan of the Eland totem (Mhofu) that has over the years morphed into one of the biggest spread throughout Zimbabwe whose forefather was  Nyashanu who sired Seke, Hwata, Chiweshe and Gutsa, among others. It is famed for artistry in many facets of life, some of which are subject for another day.

Murambinda is a spitting distance of the spiritual ancient city of Matendera, which the whites again, tried to call ruins.

Again, Murambinda is a sputum distance from Dzapasi Assembly Point (Fox Trot), where freedom fighters gathered during Ceasefire in 1979, ahead of independence.

On Thursday, Murambinda befittingly hosted the 44th Independence Anniversary, ushering a new era in Zimbabwe’s history.

So Murambinda is no ordinary place. 

Thousands of fans thronged Murambinda B Primary school for music and dance, and for Dynamos fans, it was a plateau of joy. And, yet, for Highlanders fans, the feeling was congealing. 

Speaking to the revellers, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said they had come as messengers of President Mnangagwa to celebrate the notable achievements by the Second Republic towards the attainment of Vision 2030. 

He urged citizens to embrace the newly introduced Zimbabwe Gold currency to ensure lasting economic stability. 

Agatha Murudzwa

Dr Muswere danced on the stage flanked by top officials including Local Government and Public Works Minister Winston Chitando, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Angeline Gata, Information  Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana and Manicaland Province Minister of State and Devolution Misheck Mugadza and director Media Services in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr George Chisoko. 

This was before midnight when DJ Fantan of ChillSpot Records and Ras Caleb livened up the mood. 

Dr Muswere said Manicaland Province was among the provinces that benefitted from President Mnangagwa’s devolution programmes and the living no one and no place behind initiatives. 

“We’re are celebrating 44 years of Independence focusing on Vision 2030.  Let’s bear in mind that our President since he got into the office initiated 7 000 projects across all sectors of the economy,” said Dr Muswere. 

“I can see everyone is happy with the President’s devolution initiatives of decetralising national events. 

The all-night gala kicked off at around 7pm with Manicaland-based artiste Jairos Mutambikwa leading The Victory Melodies from Mutare.

“I feel very humbled to be part of such big events.  I feel that my support base is expanding. It gives me an opportunity to upscale my courage,” said Mutambikwa. 

Local resident John Vhashi said they were happy to see musicians of diverse genres. 

Vhashi said they had been eagerly waiting for the event. 

Andy Muridzo

“I want to thank the organisers for choosing this place for such a big event. It’s something that we used to watch on television happening in Harare, but today we witnessing it live. 

I’m so excited to meet musicians of various genres,” said Vhashi. 

For the first time, Murambinda-based Firebrand Chani who sings conscious music  made his debut on the grand stage and sent the fans into a frenzy. 

“I’m excited to receive other musicians to my home ground, it’s a clear reflection that we’re part and parcel of the national events as we work towards attaining Vision 2030,” said Chani. 

The Ntswai Ntswai mbira group introduced the usual thrill.  The group’s genre was used in the traditional worshipping of  spirit mediums who played a pivotal role in the liberation struggle that dislodged the white colonial regime. 

Lino Piloto, the director Ntswai Ntswai Arts Group, said he felt honoured to perform at such national events. 

Amid the gunshots, bombardments and all the horrors that went with the liberation war, night vigils (pungwe) became the rallying point for mass political education where, music and dance involving the freedom fighters themselves and the masses, oiled the struggle. 

Music and dance at night vigils was soothing and at time energised people when the going got tough. 

Hence, the music gala rekindled memories of the liberation struggle. 

It is a modern-day version of the liberation struggle pungwe. 

Murambinda Growth Point, is itself the nerve centre of development for Manicaland province and is a befitting venue, given that it is located near Dzapasi Camp (Fox Trot Camp), the biggest assembly point for liberation fighters during ceasefire. 

It is always important for Zimbabweans to be constantly reminded of the hardships, the bloodshed, the sacrifices made by the gallant sons and daughters of the soil during the war. 

This year’s celebrations were running under the theme “ Zim @44: Unity, Peace and Development towards Vision 2030.” 

The mbira genre dominated the gala with Diana Samukange delivered an unusual performance. 

The lyrics were well articulated to relate to liberation war memories when mbira music was used to communicate with the ancestors and was played at traditional ceremonies. 

Samukange was thankful to the Government for upholding gender equality by according female musicians space to perform at national gatherings. 

She highlighted the strong link between mbira music and the liberation struggle, adding the “murenga” spirits would guide the nationalist movement which led to the independence. 

“I would want to thank the Government through the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services for giving us an opportunity as female musicians to expand our support base. 

“There’s a strong link between the liberation struggle which brought the independence that we’re celebrating today was propelled by the murenga spirits through mediums who would guide the freedom fighters to win the war. 

T”hey would do that after mbira is played at traditional ceremonies,” said Samukange. 

Part of the crowd at the Uhuru gala in Murambinda.

Other female musicians who performed included Agatha Murudzwa, Sandra Ndebele, Shantel Sithole among other musicians. 

Tambaoga who rose to fame during land reform programme made a spirited performance with his traditional music fused with marimba, mbira, shakers and guitars. 

Murudzwa paid tribute to the gallant sons and daughters for being selfless to help the country attain peace and tranquillity being enjoyed today. 

Speaking after his performance, Admire Sibanda, popularly  also known as Chief Hwenje, highlighted the importance of music during a struggle, adding they were following in the footsteps of predecessors who entertained the “povo” and freedom fighters to decolonise the country. 

He said music raised the morale of liberation war cadres to continue with the struggle when the going got tough. 

“I want to emphasize the importance of music. There were musicians who sang during the war and had played an important role in the liberation of our country,” said Chief Hwenje. 

The Senior Lecturer Madzibaba Nicholas Zacharia awakened the crowds in the late hours of the gala and took fans down memory lane with his yesteryear hit, “Mabvi Nemagokora”. 

Other musicians who performed included Mathias Mhere who emphasized that gospel music was necessary for the country as it offered spiritual guidance for the leadership. 

The night nearly belonged to Zimdancehall star, Jah Master with a song “Vhuramai”. 

Also on the stage was Simon Mutambi, Andy Muridzo, Bio Mudimba, Mark Ngwazi, son to the late legend Leonard Dembo and Tambaoga.

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