John Landa Nkomo: The man who spearheaded the empowerment of the San Community

22 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
John Landa Nkomo: The man who spearheaded the empowerment of the San Community Retired General Sibangumuzi Khumalo cuts a ribbon to hand over a bus to Landa J Nkomo High School while the late VP’s son Jabulani Nkomo (left) and other officials look on

The Sunday News

Rutendo Nyeve in Tsholotsho, Sunday News Reporter

THE late Vice-President John Landa Nkomo has been described as a visionary who pioneered the emancipation of the San community in his home area, a development that left an immortal legacy. 

The country last Tuesday commemorated the 10th anniversary of the death of the former Vice-President. He died on January 17, 2013 at the age of 79 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre. His family held a belated celebration yesterday at Landa John High School, an institution which was the brainchild of the late Vice President that was set to emancipate the San Community.

The family led by his wife Mrs Georgina Nkomo and the eldest son Mr Jabulani Nkomo donated a school bus to the school as well as watercarts for the community as part of the commemoration. Mrs Nkomo also celebrated the 10th anniversary with a gift of an orchard.

Guest of honour at the occasion, Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office who is also the Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament Retired Brigadier General Sibangumuzi Khumalo said the school was a fulfilment of the late Vice President’s vision to empower the San community. 

“The San community has been quite a disadvantaged community as they slowly adapted to civilisation than other communities. Civilisation teaches that people should mobilise resources and build an economy but the San community still stuck to living as a community and practising a primitive way of life. We often saw them mingling up with other communities perhaps coming to help during the rainy season but afterwards they return to their closed community. The late Vice President thus started this programme to empower this community and help them to be educated,” said Rtd Brig Gen Khumalo.

He however, bemoaned the low uptake of the education facility by the San community encouraging them to utilise the empowerment platforms.

 “I am so disappointed that we still have a very low enrolment of the San community and I would like to encourage the headmaster to liaise with his colleagues from the primary schools to ensure learners from the San community continue with education,” said Brig Gen (Rtd) Khumalo.

He added that the Second Republic has built on the late Vice President’s initiatives in empowering the San community in line with its mantra of not to living any place and anyone behind.

“I at times get sentiments that it is embarrassing to be called a San but the Second Republic led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has introduced a number of programmes meant to empower the San community,” said Brig Gen (Rtd) Khumalo.

Head of Landa John Nkomo High School Mr Musarurwa Evans Guri said some of the school’s products have graduated to the National University of Science and Technology as well as the security sector.

“We usually enrol 21 San pupils annually but the figures have been dropping. We have managed to graduate them into various fields including the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, teaching, NUST and Midlands State University. All this was the vision of the late Vice President which has been brought into fruition by the current Government,” said Mr Guri.

On behalf of the Nkomo family, Mr Jabulani Nkomo said the family was dedicated to ensuring that they carry on with their father’s legacy.

“This is an important day to us as we celebrate 10 years since the passing on of our father. We met as a family and asked ourselves what we could do to celebrate the life of our father. This is where his heart was (LJ Nkomo High School) so we thought of donating a school bus. My mother who could not come here has also donated 20 watercarts that carry 100 litres each to the elderly here at Bule Village. She also gave an orchard as a gift to the school,” said Mr Nkomo.

The event was panctuated by song and dance as pupils showcased their traditional dance styles synonymous with the Kalanga tribe. Award winning poet Obert Dube also entertained the audience with his poems fused with comedy.

Former VP Nkomo held various positions both in Government and the ruling Zanu PF that include Cabinet posts. He also became Speaker of Parliament and national chairperson of Zanu PF and head of the National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. 

Born on August 22, 1934 in Tsholotsho District, Matabeleland North province, Cde Nkomo died of cancer at a local private hospital in Harare. He succeeded Vice President Joseph Msika who had died in August 2009. 

He was one of the founding members of the African National Congress between 1958 and 1959. In 1960, he joined the National Democratic Party (NDP) before joining the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) in 1961. He was arrested on several occasions by the lan Smith regime and detained at Gonakudzingwa restriction camp. 

Cde Nkomo attended the Geneva Conference as part of the PF-Zapu delegation led by the late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo in 1976. — @nyeve14

Share This: