The History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi is series based on a unique project, overseen by UNESCO known as the GHA: the General History of Africa – Africa’s history, culture and heritage told by Africans themselves. In the the series Zeinab visits many countries in west, east, central and southern Africa, capturing key chapters in Africa’s history, from the 8th to the 20th century.
In this episode Zeinab travels to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia to find out about the powerful kingdoms of southern Africa and their rulers from 10th to 19th century, like the Mutapa kingdom that stretched across portions of eight modern-day southern African countries. We hear about one military ruler who repeatedly saw off Portuguese invaders. And we admire the incredible ruins of Great Zimbabwe – the largest stone settlement in Africa south of the Sahara. Foreign visitors could not believe that this towering civilisation dating from the 1100s was built by Africans. The reality is that Great Zimbabwe is the most striking example of the kingdoms that flourished in southern Africa.