Details of History
Zimbabwe established on April 18, 1980, has been called many thenings; right now it has the name, “A World of Wonders”! Many may be skeptical about coming to visit and explore, but as a local and a fellow traveller, let me assure that it is safe and this unique destination will blow away your mind.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. It shares it borders with 5 countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.
The name Zimbabwe originates from the famous Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Zimbabwe means, “ House of Stone”. These ruins are the largest Sub-Saharan Africa and second to the Pyramids in Eygpt.
Zimbabwe is known for several things – Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, vast mineral reserves, agriculture and bountiful wildlife. The current president President Robert Gabrielle Mugabe has been president since independence and is the oldest head of state in the world.
The main languages spoken in Zimbabwe are English, Shona and Ndebele and these are found in official documents. English is the more widely spoken in the major urban areas though only two of the population consider it their native language, mainly the white and Coloured (mixed race) minorities. The rest of the Zimbabwe population speaks Bantu languages like Shona spoken by the Mashona people(76 ) and Ndebele spoken by the Matabele people(18 ).
However, there are officially 16 languages recognised in Zimbabwe and these are:
• English - UK English
• Shona - spoken by the Mashona in several dialects, but also spoken by other ethnic groups
• Ndebele - spoken by the Matebele, but also spoken by other ethnic groups
• Kalanga - the western branch of the Shona group spoken by the Kalanga people of western Zimbabwe and northeastern Botswana
• Nambya - spoken in western Zimbabwe particularly in Hwange, related to Kalanga (above)
• Ndau - spoken by over a million people in Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe, related to Manyika and Karanga
• Shangani - like the Tsonga language in South Africa
• Sotho - originally from Lesotho
• Tonga - also known as as it is spoken both in Zambia and Zimbabwe by people who reside along and near the Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe and southern and eastern Zambia
• Tswana - spoken by about 5 million people in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa
• Venda - spoken by the Venda people of South Africa and the Lemba people southern Zimbabwe
• Xhosa - native to the Cape and Lesotho regions, spoken by a small population (of about 35 000 people) in Zimbabwe based in Mbembeswana near Bulawayo in
• Koisan (Tsoa) - spoken by several thousand people in both Zimbabwe and Botswana
• Chewa - also called Nyanja, spoken in former Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland now Zambia and Malawi, as well as parts of and Zimbabwe where is it possibly the third most widely used native language
• Chibarwe - Sena of central Mozambique and Malawi is known as Chibarwe in Zimbabwe
• Zimbabwe Sign Language - without much clarification is different for each school in Zimbabwe, while American Sign Language is also used.
Other unofficial languages spoken in Zimbabwe include Dombe, Fanagalo, Kunda, Lozi, Manyika and Tswa, together with several Shona dialects.