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Encyclopedia > Matabeleland
Map of Zimbabwe showing Matabeleland
Map of Zimbabwe: Matabeleland is on the west

Modern day Matabeleland is currently divided into two provinces: Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South. These two provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The province is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people, who took control of the area in 1837 after having been pushed out of other areas of southern Africa during the Mfecane. Population (1992) 1,855,300. Area: 181,605 km². The language spoken is Ndebele. The major city is Bulawayo. Another notable town is Hwange. The land is particularly fertile and this area has important gold deposits. Industries include gold and other mineral mines, and engineering. Image File history File links Zimbabwe. ... Image File history File links Zimbabwe. ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Provinces of Zimbabwe ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Provinces of Zimbabwe ... Northern Transvaal redirects here, see Blue Bulls for the rugby union team. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article relates to the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe. ... Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1837 - 1901) 1837 (MDCCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Mfecane (Zulu), also known as the Difaqane or Lifaqane (Sesotho), is an African expression which means something like the crushing or scattering. It describes a period of widespread chaos and disturbance in southern Africa during the period between 1815 and about 1840. ... Title page of one of the earliest Sindebele phrase books, published for the use of settlers in Matabeleland. This article relates to the Ndebele language spoken by the Ndebele or Matabele people of Zimbabwe. ... The City of Bulawayo is highlighted in this map of Zimbabwe. ...



This article is part of the series:
History of Zimbabwe
Pre-colonial history
Colonial history
Zimbabwe -
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The history of Zimbabwe began with the transition to majority rule in 1980 and Britains ceremonial granting of independence. ... The pre-colonial history of Zimbabwe lasted from 500 to the British governments granting colonial status to Southern Rhodesia in 1923. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Southern_Rhodesia. ... The history of Rhodesia extends from Prime Minister Ian Smiths unilateral declaration of independence in 1965 to the transition to majority rule in 1979. ... Image File history File links Flag of Rhodesia, 1965–1968. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Zimbabwe. ...

The San People and various ironworking cultures

Stone Age evidence indicates that the San people, now living mostly in the Kalahari Desert, are the descendants of this region’s original inhabitants, almost 100 000 years ago. There are also remnants of several ironworking cultures dating back to AD 300. Little is known of the early ironworkers, but it is believed that they put pressure on the San and gradually took over the land. Kalahari redirects here. ...

Rozwi Empire

Around the 10th and 11th centuries the Bantu-speaking Shona arrived from the north and the both the San and the early ironworkers were driven out. By the 15th century, the Shona had established a strong empire, known as Munhumutapa, with its capital at the ancient city of Zimbabwe. This empire was split by the end of the 15th century with southern part becoming the Rozwi Empire. Shona is the principle language of Zimbabwe, in southern Africa. ...

Ndebele Kingdom


In the late 1830s, some 20 000 Ndebele, descendants of the Zulus in South Africa and led by Mzilikazi Khumalo, invaded the Rozwi Empire. Many of the Shona people were incorporated and the rest were made satellite territories who paid tribute to the Ndebele Kingdom. He called his new nation Mthwakazi, a Zulu word which means something which became big at conception, in Zulu "into ethe ithwasa yabankulu". The territory came to be known as Matabeleland after conquest by the BSAC. Mzilikazi organised this ethnically diverse nation into a militaristic system of regimental towns and established his capital at Bulawayo. He was a statesman of considerable stature, able to weld the many conquered tribes into a strong, centralized kingdom. In 1852, the Boer government in Transvaal made a treaty with Mzilikazi. However, gold was discovered in Mashonaland in 1867 and the European powers became increasingly interested in the region. Mzilikazi died on 9 September 1868, near Bulawayo. His son, Lobengula, succeeded him as king. In exchange for wealth and arms, Lobengula granted several concessions to the British, the most prominent of which is the 1888 Rudd concession giving Cecil Rhodes exclusive mineral rights in much of the lands east of his main territory. Gold was already known to exist, so with the Rudd concession, Rhodes was able to obtain a royal charter to form the British South Africa Company in 1889. There are two versions of Ndebele in South Africa, they both belong to the Nguni group of Bantu Languages. ... Languages Zulu Religions Christian, African Traditional Religion Related ethnic groups Bantu Nguni Basotho Xhosa Swazi Matabele Khoisan The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are a South African ethnic group of an estimated 17-22 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... Mzilikazi (meaning the path of blood) (ca. ... The City of Bulawayo is highlighted in this map of Zimbabwe. ... Flag of Transvaal For the Russian theme park, see Transvaal Park. ... Mashonaland is a region in northern Zimbabwe. ... Lobengula (d. ... The flag of the British South Africa Company The British South Africa Company (BSAC) was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company, Ltd. ...

British South Africa Company

In 1890, Rhodes sent a group of settlers, known as the Pioneer Column, into Mashonaland and when they reached Harari Hill, they founded Fort Salisbury (now Harare). Rhodes had been distributing land to the settlers even before the royal charter, but the charter legitimized his further actions with the British government. By 1891 an Order-in-Council declared Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and Bechuanaland a British protectorate. Rhodes had a vested interest in the continued expansion of white settlements in the region, so now with the cover of a legal mandate, he used a brutal attack by Ndebele against the Shona near Fort Victoria (now Masvingo) in 1893 as a pretext for attacking the kingdom of Lobengula. Also in 1893, a concession awarded to Sir John Swinburne was detached from Matabeleland to be administered by the British Resident Commissioner of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, to which the territory was formally annexed in 1911 and it remains part of modern Botswana, known as the Tati Concessions Land. The flag of the British South Africa Company The British South Africa Company (BSAC) was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company, Ltd. ... In 1889 seeking to weaken the Ndebele king Lobengulas control over the territory, Cecil Rhodes promoted white settlement in Ndebele and Shona lands and dispatched a group of colonists known as the “Pioneer Column” to the region in 1890, under military guard. ... Map of Zimbabwe showing the location of Harare. ... Mashonaland is a region in northern Zimbabwe. ... The Bechuanaland Protectorate (BP) was a protectorate established in 1885 by Britain in the area of what is now Botswana. ... Masvingo is the capital of the Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe. ... Year 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... A High Commissioner is a person serving in a special executive capacity. ... An 1887 map showing the Crown Colony of Bechuanaland (shaded pink) and the Bechuanaland Protectorate (pink border) The Bechuanaland Protectorate (BP) was a protectorate established on March 31, 1885 by the United Kingdom in southern Africa. ... Year 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Tati Concessions Land was the name of the concession, granted in 1872 to Sir John Swinburne (b. ...

First Matabele War

Main article: First Matabele War

The first battle in the war occurred on 1 November 1893 when the laager was attacked on open ground a few miles from the Impembisi River. The laager consisted of 670 British soldiers, 400 of whom were mounted along with a small force of native allies fought off the Imbezu and Ingubu regiments considered by Sir John Willoughby to number 1 700 warriors in all. The laager had with it a small artillery of 5 Maxim gun, 2 seven-pounders, 1 Gardner gun, and 1 Hotchkiss. The Maxim guns took center stage and decimated the native force. Combatants United Kingdom, British South Africa Police Ndebele Commanders Cecil Rhodes, Leander Starr Jameson King Lobengula, Mjaan, chief induna Casualties fewer than 100 Over 10,000 British Artillery, ca 1900. ... An early Maxim gun in operation with the Royal Navy 1895 . ...

Lobengula had 80 000 spearmen and 20 000 riflemen, against fewer than 700 soldiers of the British South Africa Police, but the Ndebele warriors were no match against the British Maxim guns. Leander Starr Jameson immediately sent his troops to Bulawayo to try to capture Lobengula, but the king escaped and left Bulawayo in ruins behind him. But this was no victory for the Ndebele. Under somewhat mysterious circumstances, Lobengula died in January 1894, and within a few short months the British South Africa Company controlled most of the Matabeleland and white settlers continued to arrive. Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Baronet, KCMG (February 9, 1853 – November 26, 1917), also known as Doctor Jim or The Doctor, was a British colonial statesman who was best known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid. ...

Second Matabele War or First Chimurenga

Main article: Second Matabele War

In March 1896, the Ndebele revolted against the authority of the British South Africa Company in what is now celebrated in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, i.e., First War of Independence. Mlimo, the Matabele spiritual/religious leader, is credited with fomenting much of the anger that led to this confrontation. He convinced the Ndebele that the white settlers (almost 4,000 strong by then) were responsible for the drought, locust plagues and the cattle disease rinderpest ravaging the country at the time. Mlimo's call to battle was well timed. Only a few months earlier, the British South Africa Company's Administrator General for Matabeleland, Leander Starr Jameson, had sent most of his troops and armaments to fight the Transvaal Republic in the ill-fated Jameson Raid. This left the country’s security in disarray. In June 1896, the Shona too joined the war, but they stayed mostly on the defensive. The British would immediately send troops to suppress the Ndebele and the Shona, only it would take months and cost many hundreds of lives before the territory would be once again be at peace. Shortly after learning of the assassination of Mlimo at the hands of the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, Cecil Rhodes showed great courage when he boldly walked unarmed into the Ndebele stronghold in Matobo Hills and persuaded the impi to lay down their arms, thus bringing the war to a close on October 1896.[1] Matabeleland and Mashonaland would continue on only as provinces of the larger state of Rhodesia. Burnham & Armstrong after the assassination of Mlimo. ... Chimurenga is a Shona word for struggle. The words modern interpretation has been extended to describe a struggle for human rights, political dignity and social justice,[1] specifically used for the African insurrections against British colonial rule 1896-1897 (First Chimurenga) and the guerrilla war against the British settler... The South African Republic (Dutch: Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek), often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, not to be confused with the Republic of South Africa, occupied the area later known as the province of Transvaal, first from 1857 to 1877, and again, after a successful Afrikaner rebellion against British rule... The Jameson Raid (December 29, 1895 - January 2, 1896) was a raid on Paul Krugers Transvaal Republic carried out by Sir Leander Starr Jameson and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895-96. ... Frederick Russell Burnham, DSO (May 11, 1861 – September 1, 1947), was an American scout and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in colonial Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting... Cecil Rhodes Cecil John Rhodes, PC, DCL, (July 5, 1853 – March 26, 1902[1]) was a British-born South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician. ... Matobo landscape. ...

Birthplace of Scouting

It was during the Second Matabele War that Baden-Powell and Burnham first met and began their life-long friendship. In mid-June 1896, during a scouting patrol in Matobo Hills, Burnham first taught Baden-Powell woodcraft, the fundamentals of scouting. As a boy growing up in the American Old West during the Indian Wars, Burnham had learned woodcraft from Indian trackers, frontiersman, and cowboys, so as a scout in Africa he was simply practising the art and applying it as a soldier. Woodcraft was not generally practised outside of the American Old West, but it was vitally needed in places like colonial Africa, so Baden-Powell and Burnham discussed how this art might be taught to young boys. These young boy scouts envisioned by Baden-Powell and Burnham during those evenings camping in the Matobo Hills was one of fighters first whose business it was to face their enemies with both valor and good cheer, and as social workers afterward. Baden-Powell went on to refine the concept of scouting and eventually become the founder of the international scouting movement. Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB (22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941), also known as B-P, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement. ... Matobo landscape. ... This article is about the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts/Girl Guides organizations. ... The cowboy, the quintessential symbol of the American Old West, circa 1887. ... For wars involving India, see Military history of India. ... Cecil Rhodes: Cape-Cairo railway project. ...

British Rule

The flag of Southern Rhodesia
The flag of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

British settlement of Rhodesia continued, and by October 1923, the territory of Southern Rhodesia was annexed to the crown. The Ndebele and Shona thereby became British subjects and the colony received its first basic constitution and had its first election. Ten years later, the British South Africa Company ceded its mineral rights to the territory's government for £2 million, and a deep recession of the 1930s gave way to a post-war boom of British immigration. Image File history File links Flag_of_Southern_Rhodesia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Southern_Rhodesia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Federation_of_Rhodesia_and_Nyasaland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Federation_of_Rhodesia_and_Nyasaland. ... Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated immediately to the north of South Africa, known today as Zimbabwe. ... Anthem God Save the Queen The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Capital Salisbury Language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy Monarch  - 1953-1963 Elizabeth II Governor-General  - 1953-1957 Lord Llewellin  - 1957-1963 The Earl of Dalhousie  - 1963 Sir Humphrey Gibbs Prime Minister  - 1953-1956 Sir Godfrey Huggins  - 1956-1963 Sir...

After the onset of self-government, a major issue in Southern Rhodesia was the relationship between the white settlers and the Ndebele and Shona populations. One major consequence was that the white settlers were able to enact discriminatory legislation concerning land tenure. The Land Apportionment and Tenure Acts reserved 50% of the land area for exclusively white ownership. 25% was designated “Tribal Trust Land” which was available to be worked on a collective basis by black tribes and where individual titled ownership was not possible. In 1965, the white-settler government of Rhodesia declared its independence. Initially, this state maintained its loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II as "Queen of Rhodesia" (a title to which she never consented) but by 1970 even that link was severed, and Rhodesia became a totally independent republic.

Sovereign Rhodesia

The flag of Rhodesia
Main article: Rhodesia

The white-ruled Rhodesian government struggled to obtain international recognition and faced serious economic difficulties as a result of international sanctions. At first, a few states did support the white minority government of Rhodesia, most notably South Africa, Portugal, Israel, and some Arab states. Over time, however, even that support faded. In 1972, the Shona, led by Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union began a lengthy armed campaign against Rhodesia’s white minority government in what became known as the "Bush War" by White Rhodesians and as the "Second Chimurenga" (or rebellion in Shona) by supporters of the guerrillas. The white regime’s ability to fight the war steadily eroded and the government fell in 1979. For a brief period, Rhodesia reverted to the status of British colony, but in early 1980, elections were held and the ZANU party, led by Mugabe, exercised their rule over the independent nation of Zimbabwe. Matabeleland and Mashonaland would continue on as provinces of this new nation. Image File history File links Flag of Rhodesia, 1965–1968. ... Image File history File links Flag of Rhodesia, 1965–1968. ... This article is about the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia, todays Zimbabwe. ... Mugabe redirects here. ... The Zimbabwe African National Union was a political party during the struggle for Rhodesias, ultimately Zimbabwes, independence, formed as a split from ZAPU. It won the 1980 elections under the leadership of Robert Mugabe, and eight years later merged again with Joshua Nkomos ZAPU to form Zanu... ShonaThe word Shona is derived from the Ndebele word itshonalanga(where the sun set)(or ChiShona) is native language of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify those Bantu-language speaking peoples in Southern Africa who speak one of the Shona languages(dialects) namely Zezuru,Karanga...


The flag of Zimbabwe
Main article: Zimbabwe

Following independence in 1980, Zimbabwe initially made significant economic and social progress, but tensions between the Shona and the Ndebele began to surface once again. Internal security worsened as the Ndebele resorted to terrorism to challenge Mugabe and his majority Shona ruled party. The government responded with a series of military campaigns against the terrorists and Mugabe was accused of numerous atrocities against civilians in Matabeleland. By early 1984, the military disrupted food supplied in Matabeleland and much of the Ndebele population was left starving. The Shona and the Ndebele finally reconciled their political differences by late 1987, although the economy continued to sputter never recovered. In the early 1990s, a controversial Land Acquisition Act was passed calling for the Mugabe government to purchase half of the mostly white-owned commercial farming land at below-market prices to redistribute land to black peasants. Matabeleland has rich central plains, watered by tributaries of the two rivers, the Zambezi and the Limpopo, allowing it to sustain cattle and consistently produce large amounts of cotton, sugar, and maize. But land grabbing, squatting, and repossessions of large white farms under Mugabe's program resulted in a 90% loss in productivity in large-scale farming, ever higher unemployment, and hyper-inflation. White residents fled the country and strikes further crippled production prompting ever more severe repression by the government. AIDS has also had a significant impact on this nation; more than 25% of the adult population is currently infected. Image File history File links Flag_of_Zimbabwe. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Zimbabwe. ...

See also

  • Beneath the Zanu PF, MDC feud - notes for Mbeki Newzimbabwe.com - George Mkhwananzi


  1. ^ Farwell, Byron (2001). The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View. W. W. Norton & Company, 539. ISBN 0393047709. 

External links

  • The History of the Ndebele people {Zimbabwe}

  Results from FactBites:
South Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6423 words)
The Swazi ethnic group is the major ethnic group in Swaziland.
The Ndebele ethnic group is also found in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, where they are known as the Matabele.
These Ndebele people are however in effect Zulu people because the language they speak is Zulu and they are the descendants of the Warrior Mzilikazi who escaped persecution from Shaka to settle in that part of the World.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Zambesi Mission (693 words)
In 1893 Lobengula was deprived of his power, Bulawayo, his capital, seized, and Matabeleland conquered.
Missionaries availed themselves of the advantages which the new rule guaranteed.
At Chishawasha and Driefontein in Mashonaland, Empandeni in Matabeleland, and Monze, north of the Zambesi, there are large mission stations for the natives.
  More results at FactBites »



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