Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana
Standing centre-front in this picture is Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, more commonly known as Mbuya Nehanda. She was a powerful spirit medium who was committed to upholding traditional Shona culture. She lived between c.1840 and 1898 in the region we now call Zimbabwe.
Mbuya Nehanda was instrumental in organising the first nationwide resistance against the British South Africa Company's colonisation of Mashonaland and Matebeleland. This uprising is referred to as the First Chimurenga (Revolutionary Struggle), and took place between 1896 - 1897.
After a long fight, Nehanda was eventually captured in December 1897. She was charged with murder for the death of the Native Commissioner Pollard, and was sentenced to death by hanging.
It is said Nehanda's dying words were that her bones would rise again, predicting the Second Chimurenga, which culminated in the independence of present-day Zimbabwe.
We celebrate Mbuya Nehanda's life and service to the people of southern Africa!