Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag
Zimbabwe Flag


JOSHUA MQABUKO NKOMO

Nkomo(right) with mugabe

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo is one of the key figures that helped in the struggle against colonialism in Zimbabwe(then Southern Rhodesia) and is considered by many, one of the stalwarts of African Nationalism. He enjoys tremendous respect in Zimbabwe and indeed the entire Southern African region, evidence of which can be found in his nickname Umdhala Wethu. Umdhala Wethu stands for "our father" or "father of Zimbabwe".

Nkomo was born on 7th June 1917 at Semokwe Reserve in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. He obtained his elementary education at Tsholotsho Primary School and then proceeded to South Africa for his Secondary School and College education. It was while in South Africa that he ran into some leaders of the African National Congress(ANC), who helped shape his political career. On his return to Southern Rhodesia in 1947, he got a job as a social worker with Rhodesia Railways. Eventhough Nkomo became politically active as an official of the Railway Workers Union, it was not until the early 1950's that he ventured into politics proper.

In 1952, he was elected President of the African National Congress(ANC) Southern Rhodesia Chapter. During the same year, he played a crucial role in deterring efforts by the British colonialists to combine North and South Rhodesia with Nyasaland(Now Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi respectively). In December 1958, Nkomo represented Southern Rhodesia at the first All-African People's conference in Accra, Ghana. On February 26th 1959, while he was still abroad, the colonial government declared a state of emergency in Southern Rhodesia rounding up several ANC officials. Nkomo decided to stay in exile, opening up an office in London.

On 1st January 1960 while Nkomo was still in exile, a new party called the National Democratic Party(NDP) was formed in Southern Rhodesia. Michael Mawema was chosen President at its inception but was later replaced by Nkomo in November 1960. Shortly after in 1961, the NDP was banned resulting in the formation of a new party the same year called ZAPU(Zimbabwe African People's Union). Nkomo was again chosen to lead ZAPU. But ZAPU also didnt last long and was banned in September 1962. Major differences among top ZAPU officials would later lead to the formation of another breakaway party called ZANU(Zimbabwe African National Union) with Robert Mugabe being among the major players. Nkomo was arrested in April 1964 and spent the following ten years locked up at the Gonakudzinga Camp in Southern Rhodesia. Immediately after his release in 1974, he jumped right back into the liberation struggle, proving once again his fighting spirit and belief in Africa's liberation struggle.

When Zimbabwe finally got independence in 1980, Nkomo's ZAPU joined forces with then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's ZANU party in a coalition government. The coalition went on until 1982 tensions between Mugabe and Nkomo reached a boiling point. During the same year, after weapons were allegedly found in ZAPU offices, Mugabe kicked Nkomo and his ZAPU officials out of the coalition and followed this by rounding up and detaining key ZAPU operatives in a ruthless manner reminiscent only of the bad old colonial days. Mugabe went on to become President of Zimbabwe in 1987 and has since solidified his grip on power.

His bitter rival Joshua Nkomo died of prostate cancer on 1st July 1999.

Return to the Home Page

Copyright©AfricanTribute.com Inc., 2002
All Rights Reserved

World Banner Exchange Banner
World Banner Exchange BannerWorld Banner Exchange Banner


The Africa Banner Network