With Christmas around the corner, umthwakazireview.com (uMR) would like to wish its readership, Mthwakazi organizations and their members a happy holiday season. I extend my sincere thanks for the goodwill and loyalty demonstrated towards this website news outlet for Matebeleland for the past year and other years gone by since 2012. Sincere thanks are also extended to Byo24 that has published our articles and helped in entrenching Matebeleland's Narrative out there. Of course, as a demonstration of Ubuntu, uMR’s foes are wished a happy holiday season too and are encouraged to relax and accept that uMR is here to stay and will continue to intensify on its causes without fear or favour.
I also take this opportunity to take stock and chronicle the history and achievements of umthwakazireview.com (uMR) to date. My personal journey with umthwakazireview.com (uMR) started in the UK in the summer of 2012. It was at that point that I realized that there was no longer a website that solely dedicated itself to Matebeleland issues. The mighty Inkundla website that had run the show for a number of years and created a powerful platform for incisive and robust debate on Matebeleland issues via its forum had folded up. A gap therefore needed to be filled with another website that would solely focus on Matebeleland’s narrative without fear or favour.
Ensuring that the flame started by Inkundla website did not die, uMR (umthwakazireview.com) was born in 2012 with personal financial sacrifices and it remains so up to this day. Since 2012 uMR has grown from strength to strength on the basis that founding it was not based on seeking any financial gain but purely dedicating the meager resources for the greater good of seeing Matebeleland’s narrative being given a platform. That being said, the long term vision was to create a strong and vibrant international network of Matebeleland activists who would later be encouraged to tackle Matebeleland issues head-on for the greater good of its people. Progress thus far is pleasing and satisfying.
Since uMR was founded, it has focused on the Restoration Agenda as a topical issue for Matebeleland, happily provoking Matebeleland’s men and women to focus on Matebeleland issues and get seized with them and assert their self-determination on a broad number of issues without fear or apology being given to anyone. But more importantly, the site had to be a hub of Matebeleland activists and create a network that would see activists across the world coming together and doing peaceful projects that are practical and for the greater benefit Matebeleland.
The game in town was and remains that of Matebeleland believing in itself and seeking to remedy its own challenges and ensuring that to engage in such challenges was and remains our generational challenge. Every generation has its challenges. Ours is the Restoration Agenda in its broadest sense and meaning including the Restoration of our local communities, our human resource destroyed by the Gukurahundi Genocide and the local infrastructure of our communities and areas of historical significance.
With the great support of Matebeleland activists across the world, namely in Matebeleland, Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Canada, UK and Australia, UMR began to have an Internationalist outlook whose focus was Matebeleland and its issues. From then on, it began to tackle a number of issues in Matebeleland in its own small way. The issues included contributing a bigger amount of bail money for the release of Mthwakazi Republic Party members who had been incarcerated by the regime for demonstrating against tribal-based unfair employment practices in Matebeleland and for demonstrating against embezzlement of funds by a headteacher in Makuzeze Primary School and the shocking poor results at that school. The uMR activists stood by MRP all the way in their case hearings in Plumtree and provided financial support for their travel expenses until the case was referred to ConCourt.
The strength of uMR grew even stronger at this time and it began to focus on the Gadade issue and working hand in hand with uMhlahlo weSizwe (a vibrant Mthwakazi Organization based in Matebeleland), in ensuring that the historic Gadade Battle zone was a fenced and protected historical area. Today, Gadade is a fenced zone, thanks to uMR Internationalists. More work needs to be done for Gadade and the vision is to see this area being transformed into an important area with infrastructure and a preserved historical narrative.
In 2015 uMR activists supported King Mzilikazi Commemorations and made contributions towards its holding. uMR activists increased their support for these cultural activities and provided 2 buses for the 2016 King Mzilikazi Day Commemorations fetching people from the City Hall to Mhlahlandlela. Mhlahlandlela was King Lobhengula Military Display Ground where different regiments congregated for military activities and to showcase their military prowess and might under the command of His Royal Majesty King Lobhengula.
uMR also provided 3 buses for the 2016 Gadade Commemorations in November, fetching people from the City Hall to Gadade in Ntabazinduna. The Gadade Battle was fought by King Lobhengula’s regiments against Cecil John Rhodes’ colonial army backed by 652 Shona batmen at the time. 6 000 men lost their lives facing the maxim gun in this battle and a genocide against Matebeleland ensured to destroy the Kingdom and entrench the colonial system at the time. Therefore Gadade is an important place in our history that needs the attention of our people.
uMR activits have also played a part in supporting the South African based theatre artists of Loyiko Gukurahundi Play. It was uMR that was the first news website to bring this powerful theatre group to the public via articles published by uMR and cultivated a strong working partnership and supported this group to launch its play successfully this year at Hillbrow Theatre in South Africa.
To add gravitas to uMR activities and as a football lover, I secured a contract for football kit donations with one of the UK’s biggest football kit donors. A number of teams have benefitted from this intervention that include Mthwakazi United FC (Impisi zikaMthwakazi) in Bulawayo, Kalani FC in Tsholotsho, Ajax Hotspurs in Bulawayo and Stars FC in Lupane, Matebeleland North.
Stars FC got the kit through a donation that was made to the Lupane Community Event in 2015 organized by one Vumani Ndlovu. The event was themed: Activism Against Gender based Violence, where the community was being made aware of the strategies to prevent violence against women. Two local teams, Magama FC and Stars FC battled it out for the kit in front of their local community. Stars Fc won that game by 4 goals to 1goal. Our social responsibility and community responsibility as a site of Matebeleland activists was displayed here.
This year has seen the establishment of HRM King Lobhengula FC (Ngwalongwalo FC) in eNtumbane Township, which has been spearheaded by myself and an assembled dedicated Board. The Ngwalongwalo boys are soon going to receive their football kits this week, most likely today and it is hoped they will have a game soon with another local team in Bulawayo.
Therefore uMR has progressed very well with the support of dedicated Matebeleland activists and it is hoped this progress will be utilized to further make progress in Matebeleland in a number of areas. Only dedication, tenacity and indeed defying odds will see us make progress in Matebeleland. Our holiday season is worth celebrating indeed for the hard work we have put in and it is hoped in the coming years we will continue to make significant progress for the greater good of Matebeleland.
Bathi wathint’ uMthwakazi Review, wathint’ iMatebeleland, wathint’ iMatebeleland, wathint’ uMthwakazi Review!
God Bless! Enjoy the Holiday Season and Drive Safely!