By Panashe Kaseke
The United Theological College (UTC) will be hosting the third instalment of the Revd. Professor Canaan Banana Memorial Lecturer on Race and Ethnic Relations on Friday, 3 November 2023.
The Lecture, themed “Revisiting Professor C. Banana, A Controversial, Defiant, Leading and Socially Engaged Cleric: Lessons for the Church & Citizenry In Times of Kairos”, will explore the legacy of the revered theologian and inspire participants towards racial harmony, peace, and tolerance.
The annual lecture is being supported by the Maurice-Webb Testamentary Trust and it is also a component of UTC’s Race and Ethnic Relations program which strives to awaken awareness of race-related issues.
The aim of the lecture is to encourage individuals from different ethnicities to embrace each other’s diversities, promote shared humanity and to honor Zimbabwean legacies such as Banana.
“As a nation, Zimbabwe inherited fault lines from colonial times, but it also has legacies such as that of Banana. The lecture seeks to determine if something significant can be done with such legacies and, if so, what and how,” said Revd Dr Kupakwashe Mtata, the Principal of the United Theological College in a statement.
The lecture will take place at Trinity Methodist Church in Harare and the guest speaker will be Professor Paul Henry Gundani, the Vice Chancellor of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU).
Canaan Sodindo Banana who died 10 November 2003 was a Zimbabwean Methodist minister, theologian, and politician who served as the first President of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987.
He was Zimbabwe’s first head of state (Ceremonial President) after the Lancaster House Agreement that led to the country’s independence.
In 1987, he stepped down as President and was succeeded by Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who became the country’s executive president.