“Ishe Komborera” (God bless Africa) is the first Zimbabwean anthem sung after gaining independence in 1980. I grew up listening to it. My dad made me sing it over and over with him whilst he played his guitar. It’s the Shona translation of the South African anthem “Nkosi Sikeleli”. With my lack of understanding in Shona, I often struggled to understand and made him translate it until it stuck in my head.
Ishekomborera Africa
Ngaisimudzirwe zita rayo Inzwai miteuro yedu Ishe komborera, Isu, mhuri yayo. Huya mweya Huya mweya komborera (repeat previous two lines) Huya mweya Huya mweya woutsvene Uti komborere Isu mhuri yayo.
God bless Africa, Let her fame spread far and wide! Hear our prayer, May God bless us! Come, Spirit, come! Come! Holy Spirit! Come and bless us, her children.
But the chords and harmonies tell another story to me. A story of oppression and war, bloodshed and victory. The untold story of our people’s fight to survive and overcome. A story so strong it can move you to tears.
 This will always be my favourite anthem:

We must NEVER forget the real struggles our ancestors went through to give us freedom. On this independence day, take a moment to think and reflect on just how lucky we are.

Happy independence Zimbabwe… onwards and upwards :)


Danai ‘Love’ Mavunga is an editorial assistant with Arise Magaine. You can read more of her writing on http://lovesletters.blogspot.co.uk

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