Happy Independence Day, Zimbabwe?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa fires the 'Eternal Flame of Freedom' [image: Dawn News]

Zimbabwe is known for its rich history, diverse wildlife and, of course, Victoria Falls. But it is also known for its questionable politics, weak currency and dissatisfied people. Thursday should have been a day of celebration as it marked 39 years since Zimbabwe broke free of Britain’s colonial rule. However, after asking citizens what Independence Day meant to them, we got to understand their concept of independence.

Fact: Zimbabwe gained independence from the British in 1980 on 18 April. This event lead to the country’s name change from Southern Rhodesia to (Great) Zimbabwe. It also marked the beginning of the Robert Mugabe era that lasted more than 30 years.

Independence entails the freedom to exist without boundaries.
– Anonymous

(from left to right) Bishop Abel Mizarewa, Lord Carrington Sir Ian Gilmour, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe signing at the Anglo-Zimbabwe Conference at Lancaster House in London [image: The Patriot]

Fact: Zimbabwe has faced political and economic instability since 1999, however one could argue that the country is on the road to recovery under the rule of new incumbent President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who hopes to change the narrative of Zimbabwe.

As someone who was born after independence I feel that there was no difference [between] back then and now, because what we read is just the same as what we see today.
–  Tapiwa Zivira

[image: Modern Treatise]

Fact: some of the best football stars to date in Southern Africa, the likes of Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande, and even the most soulful musicians, such as the late Oliver Mtukudzi, come from this “venerated house”.

To those who think they are independent, then happy Independence Day.
– Anonymous