Exhume Cecil Rhodes's Bones

by Stanford Chiwanga

Rhodes's Grave - Matopo Hills

Rhodes's Grave - Matopo Hills

THE continuous recognition and respect conferred upon architects of colonisation have once again ignited a chorus of calls for their removal amid demands by the Governor and Resident Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Cde Cain Mathema, for the immediate removal of David Livingstone’s statue at Victoria Falls and the exhumation of Cecil John Rhodes’ remains at Matopo Hills.

Cde Mathema is not the first person to make the call for the tearing of Livingstone’s statue and the exhumation of Rhodes’ remains. As far back in 2001, war veterans destroyed metal plaques on Livingstone’s statue, which proclaim the Scottish missionary as the discoverer of the waterfalls.

The former freedom fighters attempted to pull down Livingstone’s gigantic metal figure but failed.
A year later the war veterans objected to the location of Rhodes’ grave that is atop the Malindidzimu Shrine (resting place of spirits) because Rhodes spearheaded Zimbabwe’s colonisation as he used his personal wealth to colonise the country on behalf of Britain.

The location of Rhodes’ grave has since yore not gone down well with the country’s tradition and beliefs as Rhodes was known to be a homosexual, a sexual behaviour that is taboo in Africa.

The other source of anger is the fact that Rhodes’ grave is guarded 24 hours a day and seven days a week by an armed policeman while the grave of Mzilikazi at Entumbane also in the Matopos is not protected at all.

Governor Mathema also urged schools to do away with colonial names and replace them with local ones, as they together with Rhodes’ grave and Livingstone’s statue are instruments that still impose upon Zimbabwe the will and culture of Britain.

The Governor said all the symbols of colonialism that are being revered by Zimbabweans and foreign tourists are an affront to the country’s fundamental beliefs and freedoms.
“Rhodes was deliberately buried at Matopo, it was not a coincidence. And I wonder why 30 years after independence his grave is still found on the country’s traditional shrine of worship. It’s an insult to our ancestors and maybe that is the reason why our ancestors at Njelele, where we pray for rain are no longer giving us enough rain.

“All over the country you find schools named after colonialists, statues erected to celebrate colonialism. I am struck and baffled by the attitude of our people to continually embrace a bygone system that worked tirelessly to thwart their energy and aspirations,” Cde Mathema said.

Cde Mathema also suggested that the seventh wonder of the world change its name from Victoria Falls to its original one — Mosi oa Tunya (the smoke that thunders) — a name given to the spectacular falls by the local Tonga people, long before the Scotsman set foot on Africa.

He said: “The total liberation of Zimbabwe is not complete as long as the country continues to live on the legacy of our former masters. As long as the names remain, as long as the scar of Rhodes’ grave remains, it is not the psychological colonisation question alone that remains open, but the question of true freedom.”
Cde Mathema said that in demanding a wholesome change he was not being a racist as his goal was to see Zimbabwe prosper.

“My call is not directed against Britain or whites, but against symbols that persecuted our people and took away our freedom and wealth. For I believe that physical freedom goes hand in hand with psychological freedom.
“Our people still believe that the name Robert Moffat is glamorous than the name Lobengula. Well I will tell that personally I hate all colonial names, as I said before I am not a racist but I hate all people who oppress and intimidate others. And you cannot deny that the missionaries abused us for the sake of their prosperity,” Cde Mathema said.

The resident minister said the statue of Livingstone should be replaced with the statues of President Robert Mugabe and the late Father Zimbabwe Dr Joshua Nkomo.
“We need to celebrate our own heroes and heroines. We do not get inspiration from the likes of Rhodes, so why should we visit their graves and their statues.

Personally I don’t visit Rhode’s grave. I would love a situation whereby I would go to Matopo and gaze upon the statue of Lobengula or Mzilikazi. That is what the country should aspire for,” he said.

Comments for Exhume Cecil Rhodes's Bones

Click here to add your own comments

Destroying history because you do not like it
by: Anonymous

It is our history and must be embraced. Ideas like this are what lead to the destruction of vital evidence as to who build the Zimbabwe Ruins.

history right or wrong
by: MRT R

if rhodes was not there you would still be in the stone age and fags are in says new york

generation to come would like evidence
by: Anonymous

leave the grave as pure evidence of who the champion of colonization was.

Don't hate the heroes
by: Anonymous

as always once colonization was done away with you people only revert back to you barbaric ways and blame the white man for your failures

rhodes grave
by: Anonymous

you may speak of removing the remains of Cecil John Rhodes,but you know that whosoever is responsible for this desecration will have their soul haunted and cursed by his ghost through all eternity, you know this is true.

Leave him alone.
by: Anonymous

You know that if the white man had not come to Africa you would still be living like animals, you are quick to embrace the European way which suit you so accept that Rhodes did more good for your cuontry than your present leaders.

soldiers in battle
by: Anonymous

Soldiers are buried side by side without need to refer to status. Recognition is a mental thing.

Do your own thing
by: Jade

Instead of inciting destruction why not build your own statues and put a guard on Mzilikazi's grave if you want to. You will never erase history by pulling down what was built, build your own history if you are serious.

by: Anonymous

It is utter rubbish to exhume the remains of rhodes. What has gone wrong really 32 years after independence?Ngatifungeiwo veduwe.

by: Anonymous

You cannot build a future by tryng to destroy the past, wake up and realize who really destroyed Zimbabwe, not the so called colonists but the greedy african leaders themself.

Remove IT
by: Anonymous

You people are amazingly arrogant! The nerve of whites to desecrate sacred ground and then attempt to justify it. God blessed the indigenous peoples with the most lush and beautiful lands on the planet because he knew these were the guardians of the natural and spiritual world. And what did he leave the so-called superior Aryan??? He left them an icy, cold, rugged rock better known as europe and north asia. You people are evil in every way and have invaded, murdered and stolen the land and resources of those indigenous people whom God has blessed. Now the final blow? Retell history to justify your murderous ways. You whites are indeed of Satan; and shall return to him very soon.

Stop blaming history and look to the future
by: Gavin

The God whom I serve and trust, is a loving God and would certainly not agree of your language or attitude, we are all ( black, white, yellow, brown ) His children and He did not apportion out land to certain races. Stop blaming the whites they have very little to do with the future of Africa, focus on who is currently leading these countries not just Zimbabwe and wake up to the destruction they are causing , however judging by your attitude you are possibly one of these Africans in a position of power and benefiting hugely from the plight of these countries while hiding behind history and blaming the whites.
Fe people would argue that colonization was not done right, many whites living today are ashamed of what their forefathers did, but they can't re write history and turn the clock back, that's just the way it is, history is history and what is important is what we learn from it and how we move forward into the future. We can't change history but we can change the future.. If you continue with your attitude there is no future for whites or blacks.
Have a look at your attitude before you start calling anyone Satan.

Watch out for the Chinese
by: Anonymous

You are so busy blaming the white people for events 100 years ago, that you are too stupid to notice the Chinese are re colonising Zimbabwe today - a few more years and they will own everything. WAKE UP!!

re:Watch out for the chinese
by: Anonymous

You're an idiot! It wasn't the chinese who stole land, raped women and children, enslaved and masequered entire nations!! No sir, it was the european thousands of years ago and it still is the european who by his global financial system keeps black and brown people in the condition they are in now. This BEAST is the reason for all of the world's problems. Every war being waged, mini conflicts sprouting up which causes civil wars, the resource being stolen and white-collar crime being committed are ALL done for the advancement of this mutant being. People of color own NONE of their resources and patsy governments are put in place to control the masses. Those willing to 'play' in the devil's game do well for themselves at the expense of their people. The devil continues to deceive our people; they still believe whites can be trust-worthy when by their nature every act they make collectively is a nail in our coffin. We are the YIN to their YANG. We are NOT the same at all!! Our ancestors understood this fact. Black represented divinity/life while White represents DEATH or the coming of it!! Your God is NOT my GOD, I don't worship the God of my oppressors! Oh, as a conscious person, I am wide awake!

Leave him be...
by: Anonymous

I think that his grave should stay. Not because he is a hero, but as a reminder of how he exploited the country to make himself wealthy. How can you respect a man who stole a country and treated it's native people like inferiors?

rhodes the exploiter
by: Anonymous

from evil we found benefit though the part might look tissue thin. Can we really be mad of the grave?. Do u fall and stay down because u are pissed certainly no. Failures lay blame on somebody but winners getover strife, dust themselves up and move on. Leave the grave dudes, we need history with evidence concerning those who did bad/good to tht country. Stop being dogmatic, he was bad but now u nolonger in stone age coz of him. Hitler wasnt a good guy but we still learn of him in hitory whats really bad about that. Stop using butts to think and use the normal thing. I MEAN HELLO!

by: Anonymous

It's amazing,i mean seriously. Everybody is bad in his own way and you know its a fact!. If God brings judgement today and judges the guilty for killing. and neglecting of others...u guys are neva gonna be found - is this true?. Poor rhodes...it's better to be neglected by a stranger from afar than being killed by your brother. The bottom line is you and rhodes are equal minded. The difference is that you are doing the same thing in different styles only...hihihiii food for thought...

by: Anonymous

your current leader is just as bad as hitler and stalan he lives in a mansion with servants and has millions of dollars in banks around the world and you think he is great

rhodes must go
by: Anonymous

which black man is buried in the holiest shrines in any white man's land, be it britain, germany, france etc? if your answer is none, why does it even cause any debate at all when black people say they dont want any white people buried on their holy of holies, particularly a gay colonial racist like rhodes.

Can't delete history
by: Brian

Regardless of whether you think what Rhodes did was right or wrong he is part of history and that cannot be changed. History must be embraced and learned from, and cannot wiped out.
Hitler for instance is an embarassment to most Germans but they know that it cannot be deleted from hisory it is just part of it. They now like to apologise for what happened but don't keep blaming Hilter for what happened, they have moved on and have now created a great country once again. By removing Rhodes from where he is buried doesn't remove him from the history books.
If a Black man had done as much as Rhodes did at his point in time, I am sure he would be honoured. There are lots of memorials of Martin Luther King Jr in the United States acknowleding is role in history.
If Rhodes or any other white man from the west had not come to Africa and colonisied it then Africa would still have the same level of civilisation that it had at that time.
I don't see the rich Africans complaining today as they live in fancy houses, drive around in the latest cars and enjoying the spoils of a western life. There was an unfortunate price that Africans had to pay for those spoils and that price was colonialisation, it was unavoidable. And now the poorer Africans are much more persecuted by there own black leaders than they were ever by the whites.

If Africans were able to put the past behind them and stop trying to still blame the white man for current chaotic state of the continent, and realise that it is there own mismanagement then maybe eventually they would move their countries into the 21st centuary and stop being an embarrassment to their countries and race.

History is History
by: Not Racist

I think his grave should stay. He is a reminder of what he did yes but his grave is not something we look at as a great person. I visited Matopos as a young white child and my parents explained to me the bad things he did. My image of Rhodes was a nasty colonialist so if this is explained his image will be of what he did for Zimbabwe but the ways in which he did it were wrong. Stop punishing this generation. Why can't all races live together in harmony?

@History is not rascist
by: Anonymous

Let me get this straight, Now that YOUR generation is comfortable living off the lands & resources of other peoples, which were stolen by your murderous forefathers; YOU now expect these nations to allow you to continue in your comfort without recompense?? You are delusional.

We are seeing the manifestation of this in every country on earth. The God of Israel is a just God. All things shall be put back in its order.

think about it
by: non white

Black people always complain about white people oppressing them, but if we are all equal, why is it possible for whites to oppress blacks in the first place?

Remove Rhodes bones.
by: Dominic Shelmerdine

Although white and English, I see nothing wrong in repatriating Rhodes bones to the UK. His statue was justly removed in Salisbury, now Harare, shortly after 1980 independence and Cecil Square was rightly renamed,too.

Ian Smith, whilst prime minister, made the mistake of denying the black majority equal political rights. From 1964, when he first became PM Smith should have begun legislation to slowly but surely move towards majority rule by the mid 1970s instead of being forced to concede by a bloody civil war.

Remove Rhodes bones. His remains don't belong in modern day Zimbabwe.

Cecil Rhodes's Bones Should Not Stay In Zimbabwe
by: Anonymous

I had a Zimbabwe girlfriend when I was in Lusaka, Zambia in 1969. She was a trained nurse and decided to go on the frontline to help liberate the then Rhodesia. Tragically, she lost her life. In her memory, please have Rhodes's bones repatriated to
Gt. Britain.

Zimbabwe & Africans Consider Cecil Rhodes As Criminal As Brits Consider Hitler
by: Anonymous

Many Africans consider colonialists like Rhodes, Stanley, Livingstone, etc. as criminals as Brits consider Adolf Hitler. In fact, WWII was waged
by England to deny Germany to regains her colonies of Tanganyika, South West Africa, etc.lost during WWI to the then League of Nations and ultimately to the Brits.

It is a shame that many former French, Belgium, and Portuguese African colonies still have their streets and towns named after such criminals and exploiters.

How do we write History?
by: Robin

We DONT. History is written by history. Rhodes was part of the history of ZIMBABWE. Cant get away from that. When they wanted to throw his bones down the zambezi the head of antiquities...a black Zimbabwean said...how can we throw our history down the river?

With Livingstone he asked his heart be buried in Africa. Rhodes as bad as he was has given lots of money in his will that has benefited the black population enormously. Rhodes University in South Africa is one example. Then there's the Rhodes scholarship. The railways and infrastructure were all commissioned by him. He is part of the nation. Cant get around that. For good or for bad. Hes history. If we dont learn from history we repeat the same mistakes...if anything we should be inspired by his story to rebuild Zimbabwe after Mugabe destroyed it. Zim needs good leadership not bad. When the truth comes out youll find out all the bad things mugabe did against zimbabweans.What then ? Do we take down his statue too.? Pretty soon you got nothing left..no heritage..no history... nothing. Just bananas and mealies.

as long as rhodes remains are not removed from the sacred shrine of he great murenga spirit we remain doomed as a country. one command of the spirit of nehanda is to see that those remains are remove
by: kupara m

the remains of rhodes must be removed for the good of vana vevhu children of murenga and his african relatives. this have been echoed by the spirit of nehanda in the early 1970s. this must be so too with the removal of his statues especially at monomotapa government offices.

Correct nature
by: My enslaved man my name Metabo

Remove him send him to. Europe his proper place restore nature spirit.

Sacred Ground
by: JJ

Rhodes must go! No foreigner is buried in England in such a manner. NGAENDE NGAENDE. Total act of disrespect and shaming

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