Mbuya Nehanda Tree Falls

The tree where the valiant Nehanda Nyakasikana’s physical life is said to have ended at the hands of the white settlers in 1896, fell today. The tree which was situated on the corner of Josiah Tongogara Ave and Sam Nujoma Street.

The circumstances under which the iconic tree fell are still unclear. I hope there was no foul play as the history of Zimbabwe as encapsulated in that historical site. The history of the liberation of Zimbabwe cannot be said to be complete without mentioning the peerless efforts of Mbuya Nehanda.

Fallen Mbuya Nehanda tree - Photo Courtesy of Rudo Nyangulu

Fallen Mbuya Nehanda tree from different angle - Photo Courtesy of Rudo Nyangulu

UPDATE: Zimbo Jam Editor Mitchelle Ajida just tweeted this : Information says the #MbuyaNehanda tree was knocked over by road contractors 

  • Chief K.M.

    It was about time, and no-one really care about it expect perhaps when it has finally fallen. I think its neither here nor there. What we must continue to harbour is Nehanda’s fierce independence of thought and action not really the tree on which she was killed. Besides the Jacaranda is a colonial import.

    • I don’t think that is the point is it. Could it be the fact that there was little care given to it that the spirit of Nehanda was perhaps, forgotten. Other countries create monuments to places that saw battles 400 years ago and are used as reminders of the spirit of ‘founding fathers’. Should we not do the same?

  • Fungai Machirori

    I agree with Masimba. While I am saddened, I must hasten to add that I didn’t even know where it was. Maybe I am just ignorant but I think it just goes to show how little has been done to preserve the symbolism. Zimbabweans love to get agitated after the fact, rather than before it. Where was the hoo-haa when the tree was ailing?

    • The people who should have led that were not keen. But now that you know, it shouldn’t mean you should carry on without care.

  • I fail to see how that tree could be said to be ‘iconic’…it was just a tree. I doubt we would regard the donkey Jesus rode on as being a ‘messianic’ donkey.
    The person who was hanged on the tree (supposing that is the real tree, who was there anyway who would still remember which tree it was?) was iconic – no doubt about it but to then extend this title to the tree is stretching it a bit methinks.
    The tree’s existence did nothing to elevate the status of Zimbabwean people but the Mbuya Nehanda’s legacy does that and the demise of this tree is not going to change anything for the better or for the worse hence it is really an inconsequential non-event.
    Let it fall. As all tree surely must. Even as all humans eventually die – why not trees?

    • It’s importance is symbolic. And as for questioning whether it is the actual tree, until there is proof otherwise then we must believe it to be the tree.

      Many other countries, with stronger heritage and a more veritable sense of purpose retain and maintain historical sites. That some treat ours with disdain speaks volumes about our rejection of identity.

      Funny that we wrote about this identity issue a few days ago: http://www.3-mob.com/?p=2875

      • Fungai Machirori

        For one, and this doesn’t happen often these days, I am 100% with you Larry! I am baffled that such an important aspect of our cultural heritage would receive such flippancy.