Late liberation war Fighter and renowned musician Dickson Chingaira, aka Cde Chinx, should be declared a national hero
While the onus to bestow such an honour lies in the hands of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, it would be a
mockery for them to even declare him a liberation war hero.
Cde Chinx’s war time heroics are unprecedented. He would sing in war zones, deep in dangerous forests.
His unwavering fight for Zanu PF polices post-independence, neatly into the ruling party’s template for hero status.
Since independence, the issue of who qualities for national hero status has been a bone of contention as several deserving
personalities were sidelined, mainly because they did not subscribe to the Zanu PF ideology until their deaths.
And superstar Oliver Mtukudzi aptly asks in one of his songs; “What is a hero? What does it take to be a hero? Do you have to die to
be a hero? Then what is a hero? To me Safirio Madzikatire is a hero…”
While musicians contributed a lot during the war in terms of boosting the morale of freedom Fighters and the masses fighting
alongside them, they haven’t received the recognition they deserve from the Zanu PF government.
For years, local artists have been advocating for a standalone Arts ministry with the hope that it would address their plight but that
has not been.
As a result, the arts industry, in which music is a component, has been completely ignored by government as it prioritises other
sectors at its expense.
With black majority rule in 1980, a number of youngsters took up full time music careers because of the new environment that
allowed of artistic freedom and cultural consciousness.
However, their enthusiasm was not accompanied by government and corporate support. The government was reluctant to equip
the young musicians so they could compose works refletting a true liberated Zimbabwe