ITALIAN Marxist theorist and politician Antonio Gramsci goes at length in discussing the role of intellectuals in society.
He argues that all men are intellectuals, in that all have intellectual and rational faculties, though not all men have the social function of intellectuals.
According to Adamson (1980), he says intellectuals in a hegemonic sense are practically-minded directors and organisers who produce hegemony by means of ideological apparatus such as education, and the media.
He identifies two types of intellectuals — traditional and organic. He says traditional intellectuals originate and espouse the dominant ideology. Traditional intellectuals encompass the clergy, academics, patriarchal leadership, and others, who are allies of the power bloc.
Organic (raw or uncompromised) intellectuals comprise of poets, artistes, musicians, philosophers and academics, among others, who have not been compromised by the power bloc.
They can create counter-hegemonic ideals and establish anti-ruling class institutions and platforms of expression that challenge the rule of the dominant groups (Boggs, 1976).
That is the group of intellectuals in which liberation war hero Cde Dickson Chingaira, popularly known as Cde Chinx, falls into, together with a host of other artistes who used their artistic talents to fight against colonialism.
The role of artistes during the liberation struggle cannot be underestimated, as it was artistes like Cde Chinx who not only kept morale high in the bushes through their melodious tunes that kept the fire burning in the bellies of liberation fighters to continue with the fight to reclaim our Motherland, but it was also such music that created and pushed home the ideology of nationalism among the people of Zimbabwe.
It was through their music that people could last in pungwes, singing, dancing and listening to teachings from nationalists and liberation fighters.
We believe the war of liberation was fought in many fronts, with those who carried the gun, those who took charge of the politics and those who mobilised the masses to rally behind the liberation war to ensure its success.
Music played a big mobilisation role, as it was used to send messages across the people, and those messages were passed from one person to another through music, in both formal and informal settings.
That is why as a nation, we should honour and celebrate organic intellectuals.
They are indeed opinion leaders whose influence cannot be under estimated, and those who have been loyal to nationalism and Pan Africanism deserve mention in the same line with other gallant sons and daughters of this country.
The late Cde Chinx was thus declared a liberation war hero because of his works during the war of liberation and his loyalty to nationalism after independence. Through music, Cde Chinx protested the brutality of the Rhodesian regime while motivating the oppressed black people to take up arms and fight injustice.
After independence, he actively participated in the decolonisation of Zimbabwe during the Third Chimurenga or Land Reform Exercise.
Cde Chinx died at a private hospital in Harare recently after a long battle with cancer. He was 61.
Condolence messages poured from people of all walks of life not only to mourn, but also to celebrate the life of Cde Chinx.
May His Soul Rest In Peace.
We say fare thee well Son of the Soil.
Hamba kuhle qhawe.