official name: Republic of Zimbabwe
capital: Harare location: 17°50′S 31°3′E borders: Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, and S. Africa population: >12,973,808 currency: US Dollar & South African Rand major exports: metals, textiles, and tobacco popular sports: football(soccer), swimming, and rugby
borders: Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, and S. Africa
currency: US Dollar & South African Rand
major exports: metals, textiles, and tobacco
popular sports: football(soccer), swimming, and rugby
As a teenager I first became aware of Zimbabwe, and a bit of it's history, through Bob Marley's song, "Zimbabwe". From that song, I understood that there had been a struggle for freedom by one group over another.
What I didn't know at the time was:
- The country had been called Rhodesia after Cecil J. Rhodes a businessman, founder and managing director in South Africa for the British South Africa Company. He is also the namesake of the famous Rhodes Scholarship.
- As Rhodesia, it was originally a British colony, then it was an independent country ruled by a white minority before a civil war ultimately returned rule to the majority in 1980.
- The name "Zimbabwe" was a name of a city from the 3rd centry A.D.
- The original inhabitants were the San Peoples, or Bushmen. A nomadic people who now live in the Kalihari desert west of Zimbabwe.
The People of Zimbabwe
In today's borders of Zimbabwe, there exist two major culture groups: The Shona, in the east and southeast of Zimbabwe and the Ndebele,in the west and south-west region of the country.
There are 16 official languages which include Shona, Ndebele and English. Both Shona and Ndebele are part of the Bantu language group.
The music of the Shona people centers around an instrument called the Mbira, or thumb piano. They also have drums and shakers to accompany dancing and songs.
The music of Ndebele people is mostly vocal music that tells a story. Other instruments including drums, rattles and hand claps etc, are used to help accompany the music.
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