Accessibility links

The Life, Legacy of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo

The late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, a fiery Zimbabwean nationalist died on July 1, 1999, at the age of 82. Nkomo, an advocate of land reforms under the ‘son of the soil’ slogan of the 1970s, never lived to enjoy the fruits of independence like millions of people in the southern African nation. Before independence, Nkomo and other freedom fighters promised that Zimbabweans will live in a land of milk and honey. But 36 years after independence, most local people are living from hand-to-mouth, a far cry from what they were promised when they took up arms to fight against the Ian Douglas Smith regime. Despite the harsh social, economic and political environment in the country, Nkomo’s legacy lives on. Nkomo was a son of a teacher and lay preacher of the London Missionary Society in Zimbabwe’s Kezi District, Matabeleland South province. At the age of 35, after working as a truck driver and carpenter and getting involved in trade unionism, he was elected president of the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress, a major political party at that time. In this six-part series the Voice of America’s Zimbabwe Service is focusing on the life and legacy of the late vice president, who was once considered a terrorist by the colonial Rhodesian government and some developed nations.