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Cultural revolution : a categorical imperative for the fight for freedom.

Amilca Cabral asserted that “Every revolution is first a cultural revolution”.

For every revolution to attain its central objective, there’s a need to shape the disposition of the people prosecuting the struggle for freedom unless otherwise, the revolution (fight for freedom and prosperity) is doomed to be checked halfway or ultimately collapse. This speaks to culture, the way of doing things and in the struggle for freedom and prosperity, political culture is imperative for it thwarts the emergence of sellouts. Borrowing from Maria Eugenia, political culture is a set of discourses and symbolic practices by means of which individuals and groups articulate their relationship to power, elaborate their political demands, and put them at stake.

But why is selling-out, a common feature of the struggle for freedom?; A lack of political culture (ideology)? The weakness of leadership and its institution? The nature of human beings?

There is no struggle without sellouts. In every grouping of folks fighting for a particular cause, in this instance, a fight against corruption, private ownership of the means of production, misgovernance, and oppression in Zimbabwe and Africa at large. There will always be folks who are not driven by the cause itself but by personal gains. They are a product of a lack of correct ideological creed to understand what is required from a comrade fighting for freedom at all material times, a product of the desire for trinkets and trappings from dictatorship, a product of ideological bankruptcy inspired and driven by two things, and two things alone, power and material needs through primitive accumulation.

In the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe, when black political establishments were fighting against colonialism in the form of white minority rule, there was a man called Morrison Nyathi. A man who was part of ZANLA forces but because of a lack of shared vision and correct ideological inclination, Morrison Nyathi worked for the Selous Scouts, Rhodesian Security Forces, and led to the killing of 600 people at Nyadzora Camp in Mozambique. Nyathi could not envision what the ZANLA and ZIPRA forces were fighting for, his fight was driven by the desire to change his material needs and when the opportunity to sell out presented itself, he could easily fall by the sideways and bought to infiltrate the ZANLA forces in a desire to benefit from the trinkets and trappings of the white minority rule.

History is awash, the struggle against apartheid had also characters like Morrison Nyathi, a man called Bruno Mtolo who was part and parcel of the African National Congress (ANC). During the Rivonia Trial in 1964 Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, and others were being charged with high treason, sabotage, and preparation of the armed struggle, he witnessed in court against his people, Umkhonto WeSizwe and the ANC. Nelson Mandela and others were later sentenced to life in prison and escaped the death penalty. This cemented the ban of the ANC and Umkhonto WeSizwe (The Sword of the Nation). Bruno Mtolo was also a product of a lack of correct ideological persuasion and wanted to benefit from dictatorship.

In our current epoch, the fight against misrule, corruption, dictatorship, capitalism, and oppression, others may categorize people like Douglas Mwonzora and Sengezo Tshabangu as the Nyathi and Mtolo of our generation.

Dear comrades, struggles for freedom by their nature, expose and amplify the character of revolutionaries. In the words of Thomas Sankara, “ A soldier without ideological clarity is a potential criminal” However a clear comrade must understand that material want is dangerous and counter-revolutionary when coupled with ideological poverty. Comrades must be driven by a conviction to liberate the masses of our people, stand on values that protect the struggle, and stand for a vision that is shared amongst all the stakeholders of the struggle for freedom. Institutions leading the struggle for freedom must not divorce themselves from instilling correct political culture and ideology in its members, must take deliberate actions in imparting ideology, create and produce institutions around craft literacy and craft competence, and purposefully build systems that enforce discipline amongst those fighting for freedom. When we realize these, we can be able to guard against ideologically bankrupt leadership.

Dear comrades, the task of the production and reproduction of revolutionary theory can not be the burden of those on the sidelines or outside the revolution but us who are fighting tirelessly to liberate our people. Let us continue to fight, the struggle is long and we can only sustain it with hope.


In a quest to give direction and purpose to the fight for freedom in Zimbabwe and Africa at large, writes

Yours Comradely

Munashe Masiyiwa.

2 Comments on “Cultural revolution : a categorical imperative for the fight for freedom.

    1. Thank you for the well written article. You highlight things that have gone wrong with many struggles for a better society and thankfully suggest possible solutions. Good read!

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