Zimbabwe

Capital: Harare, Population: 16,15M, Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar

History

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east and northeast.

Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980, when his ZANU-PF party won the elections following the end of white minority rule; he has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1987. Mugabe has maintained the revolutionary socialist rhetoric from the Cold War era, blaming Zimbabwe's economic woes on conspiring North American capitalist countries.

Having dominated Zimbabwe's politics for nearly four decades, Mugabe has been a controversial and divisive figure. He has been praised as a revolutionary hero of the African liberation struggle who helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism, imperialism, and white minority rule. Conversely, he has been derided as a dictator responsible for economic mismanagement, widespread corruption, anti-white racial discrimination, human rights abuses, suppression of political critics and crimes against humanity.

Culture

  • Zimbabwe has many different cultures which may include beliefs and ceremonies. Shona is Zimbabwe's largest ethnic group; they have many sculptures and carvings which are made with the finest materials available.

  • Traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery and carving. Among the distinctive qualities are symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood.

  • Zimbabwe has a national beauty pageant, the Miss Heritage Zimbabwe contest which has been held annually ever since 2012.

Langauge

  • English is the main language used in the education and judiciary systems.

  • The Bantu languages Shona and Sindebele are the principal indigenous languages of Zimbabwe. Shona is spoken by 70% of the population, Sindebele by 20%.

  • English is spoken primarily in the cities, but less so in rural areas. Radio and television news now broadcast in Shona, Sindebele and English.

Food

  • Sadza is usually eaten with sides such as gravy, vegetables (spinach, chomolia, or spring greens/collard greens), beans, and meat (stewed, grilled, roasted, or sundried).

  • Graduations, weddings, and any other family gatherings will usually be celebrated with the killing of a goat or cow, which will be barbecued or roasted by the family.

A local favourite is rice cooked with peanut butter, which is taken with thick gravy, mixed vegetables and meat. A potpourri of peanuts known as nzungu, boiled and sundried maize, black-eyed peas known as nyemba, and bambara groundnuts known as nyimo makes a traditional dish called mutakura

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