As an Africa youth,I completely disagree with Mandela’s heroism. I think that Robert Mugabe is a true African hero not Nelson Mandela.
In 2000 Robert Mugabe introduced a land reform program which drove away a lot of white farmers who had grabbed land during colonisation and the land was to be given back to the natives. Even though the land wasn’t equally divided,we can see that Robert Mugabe understood that political independence without economic freedom wasn’t enough. The westerners then imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe following that incident but Mugabe didn’t reverse this policy. He actually rubbished Tony Blair who was the then British prime minister that time and told him to keep his Britain and he(Mugabe) would keep his Zimbabwe. Even though Zimbabweans suffered due to Mugabe’s stubbornness, we can see that Robert Mugabe never forgot the reason why people had gone to war to fight the colonialists. When the whites occupied the African land, they used to exploit black people and mistreat them which was one of the reasons why Zimbabweans were happy when the whites were chased away. The British government then revoked the honorary degrees that Robert Mugabe was awarded by some British institutions like Cambridge and Oxford. The Queen even went an extra mile and cancelled the title of “Sir” that she had given to Robert Mugabe. His children were also banned from attending school in any European country. However all that madness never changed Mugabe’s mind. The western media said a lot about him and almost everyone tried to discredit him.
Today people consider Nelson Mandela as an African hero which has left tongues wagging. Mandela lived in prison for 27 years because he was fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa. Evidence clearly show that Mandela didn’t go to prison alone he was with other people like Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Gorvan Mbeki but surprisingly he is the only person whom we read about today. People believe that Mandela signed some deals with the whites to become famous and that’s why he became South African President just after he was released from prison. A lot of people have pointed Mandela as “a sellout” who never cared about his fellow southafricans. His wife Winnie Mandela said “The Mandela that i knew before going to prison and the one who came out after 27 years was no longer the same”. Today people like Malema are still fighting to get their land back and also in Namibia the same fight is on. Mandela said he forgave the whites and people were going to have equal rights but the land and the economy is owned by the whites now so what equality was Mandela talking about? There are still “townships” where black people live in shanty houses. Did he really care about his fellow South Africans?
Why did the westerners write books praising Mandela not Mugabe?
Samora Machel said ” When you see the westerners saying good things about any African leader you should stop trusting that person because obviously he’ll have betrayed you”. Of course onE wouldn’t say Mandela didn’t do anything to liberate Africa but his heroism is questionable.
So who is a hero between Mandela and Mugabe? Food for thought!
Written By Mr Muchemwa Tatenda
He is a GPAN representative for Zimbabwe.
A Business Engineer by profession & a linguist.