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African Tears Beyond Tears Innocent Victims Imire Can you hear the drums, by Cathy Buckle


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The real heroes
August 7, 2010, 4:58 pm




Dear Family and Friends,

As Zimbabwe commemorates Heroes Day, the official remembrance is again dominated by Zanu PF individuals. Every day we are bombarded with Zanu PF propaganda on the country's only television channel: big breasted, big bottomed women wriggling their bodies, waving their fists and singing endless refrains in praise of Zanu PF. We hear nothing of heroes from other political parties; nothing of the thousands who have died in the last decade in the struggle for good governance, democracy and new leadership in our country. We hear nothing of the ordinary Zimbabweans who who are the real heroes in 2010. This letter is for them, heroes of the last decade.

The heroes are mothers and grandmothers who managed to keep homes together and families alive when shops were empty and there was no food to buy. Women who went to bed hungry, made meals from nothing and kept hope alive.

The heroes are our children who lost their childhood in the mayhem of ten years of political violence. Children who watched their families being torn apart as parents, siblings, aunts and uncles fled to the Diaspora to escape and to survive. Children who sat helpless, hopeless outside closed schools. Children who lost ten years of education and as a result are without qualifications and jobs.

The heroes are people in rural villages who have borne the brunt of political intimidation, harassment and violence. Knowing their every move is watched and recorded. Knowing that if their name is not on the "good" list of the village leaders they will not get food, seed, fertilizer. People who continue to endure the most primitive of conditions in homes which are still without piped water, plumbing or electricity 30 years after Independence.

The heroes are the professionals: doctors, nurses, teachers, and so many more who have held their heads high, worked in the most appalling circumstances for miniscule wages, determined to keep giving of their skills which have held Zimbabwe together.

The heroes are the ordinary workers who have toiled for the smallest of wages, wearing threadbare clothes, walking miles to work, struggling through endless power cuts, going for days, weeks and months without water and coping with years of not having garbage collected.

The heroes are the activists who have lost everything, and given everything,to bring freedom for us all. Activists who are not in this massive government we are groaning under; activists who are not driving government cars and earning government allowances but ordinary men and women who are brave, determined, driven.

The heroes are the countless men and women who have worked tirelessly from outside our borders. People who have given 10 years of their lives to exposing events in Zimbabwe, speaking out, lobbying governments, raising money for people in trouble, giving support, encouragement and hope.

Happy Heroes Day to all of us, whatever our race, colour, creed or political persuasion.
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.



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