Pictures of the new Mbuya Nehanda statue that have been circulating on social media have been received with mixed feelings. Many of the Zimbabweans have expressed their disappointment at the, “updated version”, of the heroine.
On Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited the Nyati Gallery near the Snake Park in Harare to take a first look at the statue of First Chimurenga icon Mbuya Nehanda. The memorial statue of the spirit medium will which be erected in the capital, later on, is being made by sculptor David Mutasa.
However, the statue has caused mixed reactions among Zimbabweans with many arguing about the way that she is depicted in the statue. It seems that some are not impressed with the statue, saying that it is not faithful in depicting Mbuya Nehanda. Some even went as far as accusing the sculptor of loosely basing the statue on Mbuya Nehanda’s photos.One writer who feels there is nothing wrong with the new look wrote, “we can re-present Mbuya Nehanda in her freshness, she was at one point full of life too”.
However, others applauded the artist for trying to depict Mbuya Nehanda in her prime and not as she appeared in the famous photos.
Oral history has it that Mbuya Nehanda used to rest and drink water from a river found at the intersection of Samora Machel and Julius Nyerere where the statue is to be erected.