If, as Mthwakazi, we want to accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. Top of the list we want an end to an unjust system that has politically propelled Mashonaland dominance over Mthwakazi and the establishment of a fair system that includes Mthwakazi socio-political norms and values. This fundamental demand motivates people to take a stand against tribal, corrupt, abusive and autocratic governance. Our people want a rules-based system and institutions.Continue reading
Zimbabwe’s disastrous tribal supremacy politics has quite literally shattered Matabeleland’s political grasp while the subsequent cynicism and pessimism have destroyed Matabeles’ confidence in politics, damaged people’s participation and undermined institutions of all kind. We thus stand demoralised, defeated and marginalised within what should be independence in Zimbabwe.Continue reading
We have repeatedly warned that Mthwakazi cannot continue to surrender the protection of its norms, values and interests to other communities if we are to attain true liberty. We owe it to ourselves to deconstruct the unhelpful myths that seek to buttress the notion of our inferiority that has been propagated by the Shona ethnic leadership and maintained through systems and institutions whose objective has been to manage, and not empower, us throughout Zimbabwe’s independence. Continue reading
For the integrity of our political system we must preserve the autonomy of the law. Experience has taught us that when the law falls silent under the armpits of politics, and where politics effectuates its solutions at the expense of the rule of law, the first casualty is human rights. The protection of human rights must be the core of the politics we do because human rights are the very soul of the Mthwakazi nationhood. We have the responsibility to challenge unfair sociopolitical systems that inadvertently or deliberately create a political and moral crisis within society. Continue reading
On 18 April 1980, we broke the final chains of colonialism; declared independence but entered an era of epic corruption, tribalism and contempt for rules of ethics and the law with no restraint whatsoever. Mthwakazi and its inhabitants lost control of their lives; crucially, PF ZAPU and its Mthwakazi representatives lost their credibility. Continue reading
Reality check of 36 years of Zimbabwean independence indicates a gross systematic loss of political control by Mthwakazi. With every year of ‘independence’ we are being pushed further away from decisions impacting our lives. We can change this steep path to oblivion, but a steely and collective resolve is required to restore ourselves. Continue reading
There is realisation among many Mthwakazi nationals that a socio-political change is desirable. There is however, a lack of realisation of the importance of demonstrable inter-ethnic unity in achieving that change – a dangerous oversight, I would say. It is a socio-political travesty that we are still debating whether or not the noun iHole (plural: amaHole) is outright offensive.
Those well-versed in the 19th Century Ndebele social and political system will appreciate that within a fairly rigid structure of the newly created nation, the Hole group (that consisted of the Kalanga, Rozvi, Nyubi, Nyayi, Birwa, Venda and other indigenous communities found in the southwest of modern-day Zimbabwe state who were incorporated into the Ndebele nation mainly in the 1840s) were conferred the lowest social status; they fell into the third social status (lowest) within the nation’s hierarchy below the Zansi and Enhla groups – the groups to whom they were effectively socio-politically subordinated; accordingly, amaHole were largely belittled.
For a society that has collectively suffered extreme abuse from a tribal leaning socio-political and economic system of Zimbabwe, the retention and apparent societal tolerance to the use of such a term as iHole is quite frankly bewildering. Mthwakazi politicians and civil society should be stressing the importance of ethnic/ human equality and the use of such terms as iHole should by now be frowned upon.
It is quite literally mind numbing to even contemplate the idea that the greatest obstacle to the pro-Mthwakazi agenda may turn out not so much to be Zimbabwean systems and institutions but the ill-conceived perceptions of superiority routinely displayed by some ethnic groups over others within Mthwakazi.
IHole is quite simply a derogatory term that continues to be used liberally by many Mthwakazians to refer to ethnic groups perceived as inferior: the non-Nguni groups including ethnic Shona people ordinarily resident in Mthwakazi and Zimbabwe. It is naive too for some individuals from the Nguni ethnic group to expect non-Nguni ethnic groups to believe the self-serving Nguni interpretations of what iHole describes and, in particular, means. As alluded to earlier, iHole is by definition of its usage not socio-politically different from nigger, paki, coon, kaffir and similarly rude terms; it is a rude, dehumanising and offensive term.
It would appear that to some ethnic Nguni individuals the truth is a transient, flexible concept that can be shaped at any given time to meet their needs. Mthwakazi historians writing from a privileged Nguni perspective are disingenuous in their presentation of the Mthwakazi society as somewhat fundamentally equal; they are quick to downplay the existence and/ or significance of social stratification within the Mthwakazi society, a stratification that invariably ascribed a low social status to the so-called amaHole.
I do concede that Mthwakazi under Mzilikazi was highly tolerant and respectful of difference and fairly inclusive; some highly skilled individuals from amaHole demographic groups did hold positions of socio-political significance within the nation, but then the emergence today of powerful black individuals in American and the Western political life should not be globally interpreted as the objective demise of racism. It is a mere indication of the presence of some social mobility but not necessarily of the extent of the fairness of the fundamentals of the prevailing socio-political systems.
To some ethnic Nguni individuals the offensive connotations of the term iHole are based on the alleged misinterpretation of the term rather than the real and substantive socio-political and historical significance of the use of the term. To such individuals the term iHole is not derogatory but a mere descriptor of some social groups within Mthwakazi yet those social groups so described strongly object to its usage under any circumstances.
Surely, the ethnic Nguni people’s subjective and self-serving social interpretation of the emotions attached to the term iHole is at best not to be trusted seeing they are speaking from a position of privilege and have never been on the receiving end of it. One thing for sure, iHole was not and it still is not a term of endearment.
Stop attempts at sanctifying bigotry. The term iHole is derogatory, never at any point of Mthwakazi’s existence has it been used as a term of endearment. For nationalists to achieve their aspirations of an independent Mthwakazi state, socio-political ethnic equality should not be a matter of option but a right and nationality should never be defined in simple ethnic terms. Politicians and community leaders have to be seen to be acting to dispel the myth of ethnic superiority within the Mthwakazi society. Human beings are created equal, the term iHole should be rejected across all of Mthwakazi society; the discriminatory and ethnically divisive Zimbabwean socio-political template should be despised and not emulated.