A Zimbabwean man based in Toronto, Canada is set to embark on an 800 kilometer walk from Bulawayo to Harare and back to celebrate the country’s tribal and cultural diversity.
Thabo Siziba, 45, said his aim is to promote the country`s diverse cultural heritage.
In an interview with CITE, Siziba said he decided to do along walk during December, as a declaration of freedom from ethnic and cultural oppression.
The walk is set to begin on December 5 and expected to take up to 10 or 15 days for a one way trip while the average daily walk will be 30km to 40km.
“As well as from induced Mthwakazi slavery and to declare my significance and value as an isiNdebele speaking citizen of Mthwakazi origin, I want to proudly walk across my country without the casual feeling and fear of tribal insecurity. I have a few demands and declarations that will signify my walk and these are to the government with the world as my witness,” he said.
The cultural advocate claimed people of Mthwakazi, AbaThwakazi, who were dotted across the world were now rising up to the recognition of UbuThwakazi.
This, he said motivated his resolve to provide even more strength to them to enjoy their right and celebrate their identity.
“I have witnessed a very painful erosion of Mthwakazi culture and identity all my life and I would like to bring back the light of hope and hopefully provide as a pillar of strength and leadership for the nation of AbaThwakazi.
I want to break the chains or spirit of fear that exists within the Ndebele nation over pronouncing the pride of our culture, while at the same time sharing the values and pride of that culture with the rest of Zimbabwe along the way,” Siziba said.
He claimed he had also written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for an opportunity to meet with him once he reaches Harare.
“December is also a special month due to the unity day Holiday, and I found significance in doing the walk to coincide with this month for this holiday so that I may use the relevant time to create awareness over why I have chosen to celebrate that unity day, not as a unity day, but rather as a day with a special significance to me regarding the end of Gukurahundi and the truth, reconciliation and healing regarding it.
“My history and experiences as a citizen of Mthwakazi do not allow me to celebrate Zimbabwe national unity day holiday but to have it declared and commemorated as Remembrance And Truth reconciliation and healing Day holiday,” the cultural enthusiast said.
Some of Siziba’s objectives which inform his walk include setting up of Gukurahundi victims’ Remembrance Monuments –particularly in Bulawayo and Bhalangwe Mine as part of healing and reconciliation for the genocide victims.
He also wants the government to criminalise systematic tribalism and segregation in all its forms.
Siziba said the walk was self-sponsored but the government as well as international governments and media including from Canada were informed as well for the purpose of awareness and general solidarity support.
“The embassy of Canada in Harare was also advised including the Zimbabwe Minister of Home Affairs dating back several months’ worth of continuous communication,” he said.