Demystifying the Colours of the Rainbow

Society & Culture | By Baynham Goredema, Designer | 05 April 2013

It was a joy to see Zimbabweans in such a jovial and upbeat mood this year! Over the festive season, I noticed that nobody was talking a bout politics or discussing the short comings or progress of the GNU. The first time I heard anything close to political speak was when I was updating POVO website. A friend of mine said "You want to get us into to trouble." And I asked him by who will we get into trouble and for why? And he replied, "By the government, because your definition of patriotism is different to theirs." I found that to be quite absurd, why a person would get into trouble for aligning himself with his country.

A few days later I was in Mutare and someone very close to me told me that the POVO tshirts were very popular but people were afraid to buy, sell or wear them because they were "ZANU T shirts." The reason for this misconception was the rainbow graphic made up of the colours of the Zimbabwe flag. Unfortunately anything which talks about patriotism or has the colours of the Zimbabwe flag is automatically associated with the ZANU PF political party.

The rainbow represents a promise of a new day and a new era in our country, whereby people could express their patriotism by wearing regalia with various symbols of national relevance and identity. As in the rainbow after the flood was a promise from God that he would never destroy the world by water again, and that rainbow was a sign of that covenant between God and man and would serve as a reminder through all ages. The concept behind the use of the Zimbabwe rainbow was conceptual and idealistic. We are saying we want to get into a new dispensation where all Zimbabweans are proud to be identified with their country. It is the beginning of a process of reclamation of the the colours of the Zimbabwean flag, back to the people where they belong. These colours belong to the people of Zimbabwe. By wearing these colours we align ourselves with our country, its values, culture and heritage, not along any partisan lines. Every Zimbabwean has the right to wear these colours without fear of victimisation or prejudice.