Felix Tasimba Madziwanyika describes CIU’s first ever Zimbabwean Independence Day celebration

Zimbabwean students gathered last week to celebrate their national independence day. The CIU conference hall was almost full with students not only from Zimbabwe but other parts of the world. The event was organised by Zimbabwean students, including myself, plus Emeka and Elçin from the CIU International Office.

It was an evening of speeches, music and poetry. Before I made the opening speech I spoke a prayer as a sign of reverence to God. Most Zimbabweans are Christians and it was a gesture that was greatly appreciated.

After this I made a speech about the independence of Zimbabwe. I spoke mainly on how Zimbabwe had been liberated from the racism of the past. The Republic of Zimbabwe gave people the right to rule themselves and our land became our sovereignty. I also spoke about our fight for the right to educate ourselves.

We then sang our national anthem. The people placed their hands on their hearts as symbol of patriotism and we sang in both Shona and Ndebele. These are the languages of the two main ethnic groups in our country.

The next speaker was Tafadzwa Gorogodo, a leader of a Christian church. He spoke about God being the definition of love and how we should to love each other as we love ourselves. The people applauded and shouts were heard in agreement to his message. Then there was a moment of silence to venerate the death of the father of a student, who had died a few days before.

At this time the musical entertainment began. Kay P and Tatenda Marape took to the stage to perform a hip hop song they had written together. They were hidden behind black shades and fashionable clothes. Beats were provided by a popular DJ known as “Simon Says”, who made people sway to and fro as they knew they identified themselves with the music.

There was also an outstanding performance by singer Wadzanayi Belinda. She took a seat in front of the people with a guitar on her lap. Her hands moved swiftly and she began to play. It was a simple rhythm, but the words that sprang from her mouth were inspiring. The song was called ‘Nowhere to Go (But Up). She sang. It touched the audience so much in that they began to sing along. She brought a sense of Christianity to the event.

As it all drew to a close I took to the podium again. I asked everyone to join hands and after blessings in prayer I gave blessing in words and dismissed the crowd. It was a well organised and successful night.