Today In History

Mapungubwe (ca. 1705)

Mapungubwe Hill
January 1, 1705

The Rudd Concession (ca. 1888)

Rudd Concession
October 13, 1888

Despite Lobengula’s retrospective attempts to disavow it, the Rudd Concession was the foundation for colonisation of Zimbabwe. Read the written terms of how Cecil Rhodes stole a whole country.

The First British Flag At Fort Salisbury (ca. 1890)

Hoisting the flag at Fort Salisbury
September 13, 1890

On September 13, 1890 Cecil Rhodes’ Pioneer Column hoisted the first British flag at Fort Salisbury atop a kopje overlooking the future Rhodesian capital.

The First British Flag At Bulawayo (ca. 1893)

The Frist Brirish Flag At Bulawayo (ca. 1893)
November 4, 1893

Today in the history of Zimbabwe the British South Africa Company raises it’s flag over Zimbabwe.

Hut Tax (ca. 1902)

July 15, 1902

Before colonial rule, many African households survived on cattle ranching. These families stored their wealth in cattle and used them to pay taxes and other expenses. However, colonial rule changed the economic landscape of Africa. The colonialists required African labour to build new towns, railways, and mines. As a result,

Nyaminyami’s Revenge (ca. 1950)

February 15, 1950

Whether you believe legend or not, this is a chronology of the freaky weather conditions proceeding the building of Kariba dam.

The Relleke Massacre (ca. 1962)

The Relleke Massacre
January 28, 1962

On January 28, 1962 Johanne Relleke was stung by 2,243 wild bees at Kamativi Tin ine in Wankie, Rhodesia and survived. All of the bees tragically died in what is today known as The Relleke Massacre.

The Second Chimurenga (ca. 1964)

July 10, 1964

All the reasons why the sheer ferocity and desperation of the Second Chimurenga is under appreciated by the casual historian.

To Vote Yes Means Unity, Not U.D.I. (ca. 1964)

Rhodesia Independence Referendum
November 6, 1964

On November 5, 1964 Rhodesia held a referendum on the adoption of a constitution that would enshrine political power in the hands of the white minority and establish Rhodesia as a republic.

The Unilateral Declaration Of Independence (ca. 1965)

Signing The Unilateral Declaration Of Independence (ca. 1965)
November 11, 1965

On November 11, 1965, Rhodesia proclaimed itself an independent sovereign state when Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, siged the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (U.D.I.). 

The Wankie Coal Mine Disaster (ca. 1972)

June 6, 1972

At approximately 10:27 am on Monday the 6th of June, 1972, a violent explosion ripped through the entire extent of the underground workings of Wankie No. 2 Colliery. Over four hundred mine workers lost their lives in Rhodesia’s worst mine disaster ever.

Herbert Chitepo at the National Press Club (ca. 1973) 

Herbert Chitepo
July 17, 1973

Herbert Chitepo addresses the National Press Club of Australia on July 17, 1973.

Anatomy of Terror (ca. 1974)

January 1, 1974

During the Chimurenga War, informational and political warfare was mounted by all involved. Anatomy of Terror, published by the Rhodesian Ministry of Information and distributed in Washington D.C., is one such example.

The Question of Rhodesia (ca. 1974)

March 15, 1974

William F. Buckley, Jr. and Rhodesian Primer Minister Ian Smith discuss the history of colonialism in Africa, the current state of Rhodesia’s economy, and the scene in nearby countries such as Mozambique and Zambia.

Zimbabwe Review Vol. 3 – Quarterly No. 3 (ca. 1974)

July 1, 1974

During the war of national liberation in Zimbabwe, there was a battle not just of arms and wills but also of ideas. To make their voices heard, two organisations – Robert Mugabe’s ZANU and Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU – published journals to promote their respective political programmes. The former put out

Zimbabwe Review: A quick look at 1974 (ca. 1974)

October 3, 1974

A brief glance over the past twelve months will help us to draw up a balance of our set backs and achievements.

Ten Years After U.D.I. (ca. 1975)

Rhodesia Independence Referendum
November 11, 1975

ITN’s Roving Report visits Rhodesia a decade after U.D.I. with Ian Smith still fighting for the preservation of white supremacy and the denial of African majority rule.

Post-Geneva Report Rhodesia (ca. 1977)

January 7, 1977

With his neighbouring countries newly-independet black governments piling on the pressure by supporting the guerrilla movements, Ian Smith realises the time had come to settle the issue of black majority rule before time ran out for the Rhodesian whites.

Is There a Solution for Rhodesia?

March 9, 1977

“But my dear Joan, the moment Kissinger had made his speech, the Foreign Office came out, with the full authority of the Foreign Secretary, with a very strong statement fully endorsing what had been …”

President Nkomo’s Message (ca. 1977)

April 30, 1977

This is a digitised excerpt from ‘President Nkomo’s Message’ from The Zimbabwe Review Vol. 6 Quarterly No. 5-6/77. Dear Comrades and friends; I feel that at the in­ception of our newsletter, THE ZIMBABWE PEOPLE’S VOICE, I should give you a picture of the situation in our country. The position is that

Women’s role in struggle (ca. 1978)

Women's Role In Struggle
January 7, 1978

Any struggle without the participation of women cannot be complete and effective.

The Internal Settlement: A Series Of Myths (ca. 1978)

March 30, 1978

The Internal settlement was signed on 3 March 1978 between Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith and moderate African nationalist leaders comprise Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Ndabaningi Sithole and Senator Chief Jeremiah Chirau.  After almost 15 years of the Rhodesian Bush War, and under pressure from the sanctions placed on Rhodesia

A Settlement Under Fire (ca. 1978)

A Settlement Under Fire
June 5, 1978

An interim government comprised of Ian Smith and three moderate black leaders quite literally comes under fire from ZANU and ZAPU guerillas.

The Rhodesian Dilemma (ca. 1978)

July 21, 1978

An episode of Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. featuring Rhodesian leader Bishop Abel T. Muzorewa (ca. 1978)

Umtali Hit By Rockets (ca. 1978)

Umtali Hit By Rockets
September 8, 1978

Today in history the garrison town of Umtali, in the east of Rhodesia near its border with Mozambique, is hit with mortar bombs fired from an unknown position.

Goodbye Rhodesia (ca. 1979)

January 11, 1979

Goodbye Rhodesia is a Thames Television documentary that captures the dying days of the Republic of Rhodesia in Southern Africa.

Stop the Execution of the Katumba Brothers! (ca. 1979)

Stop the Execution of the Katumba Brothers!
February 6, 1979

Poster by David King entitlled ‘Stop the Execution of the Katumba Brothers! Stop the Execution of All Zimbambwean Political Prisoners!’

Zimbabwe Rhodesia (ca. 1979)

Zimabwe Rhodesia
June 1, 1979

Zimbabwe Rhodesia was an unrecognised state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 11 December 1979.

Lifting the Trade Ban on Rhodesia (1979)

June 15, 1979

Both guests want, “a democratic government which would not be racist in its composition and which would be achieved with the least bloodshed possible,” but disagree on the best means to that end.

Goodbye Josiah Tongogara (ca. 1979)

Josiah Tongogara
December 26, 1979

Six days after the Lancaster House Agreement, the voice of Robert Mugabe conveyed “an extremely sad message” to “all the fighting people of Zimbabwe” over the radio. Josiah Tongogara had died. He was 41 years old.

Tongogara was murdered on Monday (ca. 1979)

Tongogara Was Murdered On Monday Headline
December 28, 1979

Josiah Tongogara was killed by his own forces in Mozambique, according to outgoing UANC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr David Mukome. His body was already in a mortuary before the terrorist commanders flew to Salisbury on December 21, 1979.

Bob Marley’s Zimbabwe Independence Performance (ca. 1980)

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Zimbabwe (1980, Vinyl)
April 19, 1980

Watch Bob Marley and The Wailers perform at Rufaro Stadium on April 19, 1980.

Tribalism and the Tekere trial (ca. 1980)

Edgar Tekere
November 14, 1980

Mr Tekere and seven of his bodyguards were accused of murdering an elderly White farmer, and so Zimbabwe’s White minority wanted reassurance at the trial that their lives and property do have official protection.

Mugabe’s Gamble (ca. 1981)

April 23, 1981

Julian Manyon and the team from Thames Television’s ‘TV Eye’ travel to Zimbabwe to Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe,and some of his key revolutionary allies.

From Neharawa To Harare (ca. 1982)

Harare Sunsine City
April 18, 1982

On the second anniversary of independence from Britain, Zimbabwe embarked on the process of renaming its cities, towns and streets, in an attempt to eradicate all symbols associated with the British colonialism and White minority rule.

Thomas Mapfumo at The Forum, London (ca. 1984)

June 15, 1984

In the Winter of 1984 Zimbabwe’s top musicians visited London for the first time. Watch Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited perform.

Economic War (ca 1986)

December 2, 1986

The Front-Line States are those that border South Africa. They are Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Angola. They are so named because they are on the front lines of the battle against apartheid.

Air Zimbabwe TV Advert (ca. 1988)

July 14, 1988

Some TV ads are made to last. Some not. One that has stayed in our mind – and yours, we’re sure – is the Air Zimbabwe TV advert from the late 80s.

The Bhundu Boys – Live At The Mean Fiddler in Harlesden, London (ca. 1989)

June 22, 1989

Watch The Bhundu Boys’ live performance at the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden, London.

Neria (ca. 1993)

April 27, 1993

Neria,a Zimbabwean widow (Jesesi Mungoshi) falls prey to her greedy brother-in-law (Dominic Kanaventi) who takes her children and belongings.

The Ariel School Incident (ca. 1994)

September 16, 1994

On September 16, 1994, children at Ariel school in Ruwa, Zimbabwe said they’d seen a ‘UFO’ and ‘aliens with big eyes’ in bush land near their school playground. The story was reported around the world.

Liverpool FC 2 – Peter Ndlovu 3 (ca. 1995)

Peter Ndlovu
March 14, 1995

Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto’o, amongst others, have all played in the Premier League, but Ndlovu was unmistakably the first black player in the English Premier League.

Stephen Chidhumo escapes from Chikurubi (ca. 1998)

Stephen Chidhumo
August 18, 1997

Today in history, Stephen Chidhumo, and three accomplices escape Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

Who wants to be a trillionaire? (ca. 2009)

January 1, 2009

Imagine paying $417.00 per sheet of toilet paper. Sound crazy? It’s not as crazy as you may think…

Mugabe tells UN General Assembly: ‘We are not gays!’ (ca. 2015)

September 28, 2015

Watch the infamous President Robert Mugabe speech at the 70th UN General Assembly in full.

Wenger Out, Mugabe Too (ca. 2017)

Wenger Out
November 18, 2017

One was an aging leader criticised for clinging onto power for too long, and the other was Robert Mugabe. Both had to go.

Chisora Versus Takam (ca. 2018)

Chisora Versus Takam (ca. 2018)
July 28, 2018

Dereck Chisora revitalises his career with an emphatic knockout win over Carlos Takam. Skip straight to the eighth round – 36:06 for the knockout – because that’s the one that matters.

The first black woman to stand on the F1 podium (ca. 2020)

Stephanie Travers
July 12, 2020

On July 12, 2020 Zimbabwean-born Stephanie Travers became 1st black woman to stand on the podium in 70 years of Formula 1 history after Lewis Hamilton’s win at Austria:F1.

Gold Mafia (ca. 2023)

March 23, 2023

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