Dumiso Dabengwa’s memorial to be held virtually

The Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation will commemorate the first anniversary of the late national hero – Dr Dumiso Dabengwa’s death – using online platforms, as a result of COVID-19 lockdown regulations which restrict public gatherings.

Under the lockdown large gatherings remain banned unless numbers are 30 or less.

Dr Dabengwa, one of the last senior ZPRA commanders and ZAPU president, died on May 23 last year in Kenya on his way back to Zimbabwe from India, where he had gone to seek treatment.

The Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation has dedicated a full week to honour the hero’s life and has already sent invitations to his friends and comrades including those in the South African government.

In an interview with CITE, Director of the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation, Mthulisi Hanana, said the organisation had planned a series of memories to be played during the full week to celebrate the revolutionary icon.

“We have dedicated the period from May 23 (his date of demise) to June 1 (his date of burial) to remembering him by sharing our fond memories of him,” said Hanana.

“We have called that period the Dabengwa Week of Memory. We can’t meet but can still remember him from different places, virtually. You too can share your fond memories or how you remember the Black Russian on Social Media and tag the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation on Twitter @Dabengwafdn and other Platforms. Use the following: HashTags, #DDWeek, #RememberingDabengwa.”

Hanana said the foundation would then share those experiences with Dr Dabengwa, online for others to see.

“We have asked his friends, family, comrades from ZAPU, ZPRA, Mkhonto WeSizwe (the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African government to share be it pictures, stories and experiences with the late. Since we cannot come together physically, this is what we opted to do and we will play those recordings detailing the story of his life,” said the director.

He added that during the week, every day will see a series of snippets of Dabengwa posted online.

“We are creating a YouTube channel to share the videos apart from sharing on other online platform such as Facebook, Twitter and social media. We want to remember his legacy and love for veterans,” Hanana said.

The director noted due to Dr Dabengwa’s love for veterans, the foundation would donate groceries and other essentials to surviving comrades he served with during the liberation struggle.

“These are veterans who are the Generation 75 people who are above that age, there are some who don’t have food. We are now working on the logistics and asking people to participate in assisting our veterans. This will be another way to say as we are thinking about DD, we are thinking of you,” Hanana said.

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