• Freedom Nyamubaya

    Freedom Nyamubaya

    • Freedom Nyamubaya (1958? - 5 July 2015) was a poet, dancer, farmer, feminist, and freedom fighter from Zimbabwe. She is known as one of Zimbabwe's celebrated "guerilla fighter-poets", with two published collections of her poems. During the Zimbabwe War of Liberation, she served as one of the few female field operation commanders. In 1979, she was elected Secretary for Education at the first conference of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) Women’s League.

      Born in Uzumba in the Mashonaland Eastern Province of Zimbabwe, Nyamubaya left secondary school at the age of 15, to join the armed struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe from British colonial and white minority rule. She travelled to Mozambique where the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZNLA) was training, believing she could "change something". During the liberation war, she was one of the few female field operation commanders, although after the war, she felt let down by the way women soldiers were treated. She went on to become Secretary for Education at the first conference of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) Women’s League.

      After Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, Nyamubaya remained active in work for the empowerment and rights of Zimbabweans. In the mid 1980s she founded the civil society organization Management Outreach Training Services for Rural and Urban Development (MOSTRUD) in Marondera, Zimbabwe. The initial aim was to help refugees and people who had been displaced as a result of the war for independence by providing rehabilitation, reintegration and training in agricultural skills to support livelihoods. She continued to lead the organization until her death, integrating a particular focus on rural development, agricultural support and theatre for women and young people.

      Freedom Nyamubaya has two published collections of poems, On the Road Again: Poems During and After the National Liberation of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1985), and Dusk of Dawn (College Press, 1995). She co-authored Ndangariro with Irene Ropa Rinopfuka Mahamba (Zimbabwe Foundation for Education with Production, 1987). Her short story “Special Place” is published in the anthology Writing Still: New Stories from Zimbabwe (Weaver Press, 2003).

      In her poem ‘Introduction’, which opens On the Road Again, Nyamubaya expressed her commitment to continue to fight against injustice after the liberation struggle:

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    • Freedom Nyamubaya