Heroes' Day in Zimbabwe in 2022

Heroes' Day in Zimbabwe in 2022
Heroes Acre, Harare, Zimbabwe Image by Gary Bembridge , via Flickr

  How long until Heroes' Day?
Heroes' Day
  Dates of Heroes' Day in Zimbabwe
2023 Zimbabwe Mon, Aug 14 National Holiday
2022 Zimbabwe Mon, Aug 8 National Holiday
2021 Zimbabwe Mon, Aug 9 National Holiday
2020 Zimbabwe Mon, Aug 10 National Holiday
2019 Zimbabwe Mon, Aug 12 National Holiday
  Summary

Honours those who gave their lives in Zimbabwe's struggle for independence

When is Heroes' Day?

Heroes' Day is a public holiday in Zimbabwe observed on the second Monday in August.

This is a day of remembrance to commemorate the commitment of Zimbabweans to the struggle for Independence, during which thousands perished.

History of Heroes' Day

In the 1960s, growing African nationalism led to several countries across the continent shaking off the yoke of colonial rule and gaining independence.

For their remaining African colonies, the British had a 'no independence before majority rule' policy. This caused a bit of an issue for the white minority government of Rhodesia, who decided to take matters into their own hands and unilaterally declared independence in November 1964.

This sparked a guerrilla war with Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) fighting together to overthrow the Rhodesian government, led by Ian Smith. The war ended in 1980 when Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe as it officially gained independence from Britain.

The Zimbabwe War of Liberation, also known as the Rhodesian Bush War, lasted over 15 years. During the conflict, it is estimated that over 10,000 guerrilla fighters lost their lives and over 20,000 civilians were killed.

The main ceremonies to mark the day are held at National Heroes Acre, in Harare, the country's capital. Only those afforded the title of National Hero,  the highest honour that can be conferred to an individual by Zimbabwe, are allowed to be buried here.

People come to lay down wreaths on the graves and the reigning president of Zimbabwe comes to pay their respects. A musical concert titled Heroes Day Gala is held featuring several artists who perform in the evening, with the event free to access for the public. The gala is usually held at the National Sports Stadium which is situated opposite the Acre and is broadcast live on ZBC TV.

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