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Facts and History of Zimbabwe For Kids


Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.

  • Since the 11th century, present-day Zimbabwe has been the site of several organized states and kingdoms as well as a major route for migration and trade.
  • The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes first demarcated the present territory during the 1890s; it became the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923.
  • The state endured international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla war with black nationalist forces; this culminated in a peace agreement that established universal enfranchisement and de jure sovereignty in April 1980.
  • An ethnically diverse country of roughly 13 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.
  • President Robert Mugabe serves as head of state and government, and as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
  • According to Mawema, black nationalists held a meeting in 1960 to choose an alternative name for the country, and the names Machobana and Monomotapa were proposed before his suggestion, Zimbabwe, prevailed.
  • Proto-Shona speaking societies first emerged in the middle Limpopo valley in the 9th century before moving on to the Zimbabwean highlands.
  • They continued the stone building traditions of the Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe kingdoms while adding muskets to their arsenal and recruiting a professional army to defend recent conquests.
  • After losing their remaining South African lands in 1840, Mzilikazi and his tribe permanently settled the southwest of present-day Zimbabwe in what became known as Matabeleland, establishing Bulawayo as their capital.
  • Shortly after annexation, on 1 October 1923, the first constitution for the new Colony of Southern Rhodesia came into force.
  • In 1953, in the face of African opposition, Britain consolidated the two Rhodesias with Nyasaland (Malawi) in the ill-fated Central African Federation, which was essentially dominated by Southern Rhodesia.
  • With Zambian independence, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front (RF) dropped the designation “Southern” in 1964 and issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (commonly abbreviated to “UDI”) from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965, intent on effectively repudiating the recently adopted British policy of “no independence before majority rule”.
  • After the Unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), the British government petitioned the United Nations for sanctions against Rhodesia pending unsuccessful talks with Smith’s administration in 1966 and 1968.
  • The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force released a report in June 2007, estimating 60% of Zimbabwe’s wildlife has died since 2000 due to poaching and deforestation.