In the country formerly known as Rhodesia, it was Zimbabwe’s Liberation War that resulted in their independence from Britain on April 18, 1980. Bob Marley was invited to the country’s independence celebration, and he sang a song he wrote in their honor called “Zimbabwe.” Marley opens with these profound lyrics:
Every man got a right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgment there is no partiality.
So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.
In the song, Marley pleads for “Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe.” Marley is now deceased, and he’d be saddened that the country is still experiencing transition and turmoil. Marley’s song was optimistic but also cautionary. Since 2000, the U.S. has condemned the Zimbabwean Government’s record on human rights and rule of law. The country needs to embrace democracy, as well as provide freedom and empowerment for all its citizens. Marley’s song still speaks relevancy for Zimbabweans today – “We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!” …. and it’s very simply because “every man got a right to decide his own destiny.”