Harare Sunsine City

From Neharawa To Harare (ca. 1982)

5 mins read
5 mins read

On April 18, 1982 Zimbabwe renamed its capital city Harare, after the Shona chief, Neharawa. Under colonial rule the city was named Salisbury, after the British Prime Minister Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.

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.

Fort Salisbury

The city was founded in 1890 by the Pioneer Column, a small military force of the British South Africa Company, and named Fort Salisbury after the then British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury. Company administrators demarcated the city and ran it until Southern Rhodesia achieved responsible government in 1923.

Salisbury was thereafter the seat of the Southern Rhodesian (later Rhodesian) government and, between 1953 and 1963, the capital of the Central African Federation. It retained the name Salisbury until 1982, when it was renamed Harare on the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence.

Hoisting the flag at Fort Salisbury
The Pioneer Column of the British South Africa Company reached the site of Fort Salisbury on 12 September 1890, which was celebrated from 1920 as Pioneers' Day. The next morning, at 10 am on 13 September 1890, a full dress parade of the column was held. The seven-pounder gun fired a royal salute and Canon Balfour said a prayer as the column's Lieutenant Edward Tyndale-Biscoe hoisted the flag atop the kopje overlooking the site of the future capital, Salisbury.

Renamed Cities and Towns

Place names in Zimbabwe, including the name of the country itself, have been altered at various points in history. The name Zimbabwe was officially adopted concurrently with Britain’s grant of independence in April 1980. Prior to that point, the country had been called Southern Rhodesia from 1898 to 1964 (or 1980, according to British law), Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979, and Zimbabwe-Rhodesia between June and December 1979. Since Zimbabwean independence in 1980, the names of cities, towns, streets and other places have been changed by the government, most prominently in a burst of renaming in 1982.

Rhodesia Map (ca. 1970)

Old Name

New Name

Balla Balla Mbalabala
Banket Lower Mujeni
Belingwe Mberengwa
Bembesi Mbembesi
Bhebe Dam Bhebbe
Biriwiri Piriviri
Bubye Bubi
Bulalima-Mangwe Bulilimamangwe
Centenary Muzarabani
Chakara Chikara
Chibi Chivi
Chibvi Dip Chibvi
Chigoma Dam Chingoma
Chilimanzi Chirumanzu
Chimandhu Dam Chimhandu
Chimwemwe Dam Muneni
Chinyauwhera Chinyauhera
Chipfika Dam Chipfiko
Chipinga Chipinge
Darwendale Dam Manyame
Dett Dete
Dewure PL Devure
Dutchman’s Dam Lower Zivagwe
Eben Dam Mupfurudzi
Enkeldoorn Chivhu
Esquilingwe Weir Nyajena
Essexvale Esigodini
Fort Victoria Masvingo
Frogmore Dam Upper Ruya
Gatooma Kadoma
Gulamalaka Dam Chinakwa
Gwaai Gwai
Gwelo Gweru
Hartley Chegutu
Henry Hallam Dam Harava
Hunyani Poort Dam Chivero
Hunyani River Manyame
Ingezi Ngezi
Ingwezi Dam Ingwesi
Inyanga Nyanga
Inyati Inyathi
Inyazura Nyazura
Kanyongore Dam Kanyongoro
Khami Dam Khame
Kyle Dam Mutirikwi
Lesapi Dam Rusape Dam
Lomagundi Makonde
Lower Gwelo Manyame
Lower Impali Dam Shurugwi (dam)
Lower Maynard Weir Chirudzani
Lower Seigneury Weir Angler’s Rest
Lower Umgusa Dam Lower Mgusa
Lundi Runde
Lute Dam Luthi
Maleme Dam Lower Maleme
Mamanda Dam Mamande
Mangula Mhangura
Manyeni TTL Manyene
Marandellas Marondera
Maranke TTL Marange
Mare Dam Nyangwe
Mashaba Mashava
Matopos Matobo
Mawuto Mauto
Mayfair Dam Insiza

Old Name

New Name

Mazoe Mazowe
Melsetter Chimanimani
Miami Mwami
Mphoengs Mphoeng
Mrewa Murewa
Msengezi PL Musengezi
Mtali Dam Mutora
Mtepatepa Mutepatepa
Mtilikwe TTL Mutirikwi
Mtoko Mutoko
Mtorashanga Mutorashanga
Mtsheleli Dam Mutsheleli
Mufundisi Dam Mfundisi
Mvurwi Suoguru
Mzarabani TTL Muzarabani
Mzinyatini Mzinyathini
Mzolo Mzola
Narira Nharira
Ndhlumbi Ndlumbi
Ngungunyane Ngungunyana
Nkai Nkayi
Nuanetsi Mwenezi
Nyamatara Nyamutora
Nyamunga Nyamhumga
Palawan Dam Ngezi
Poole Dam Dziva
Prince Edward Dam Seke (dam)
Purdon Dam Saunyami
Que Que Kwekwe
Quested Dam Bulilima
Range Dam Chikomba
Rhodes Dam Nyanga (dam)
Rixon Dam Upper Insiza
Sabi Save
Sabi North TTL Save
Salisbury Harare
Seki (TTL) Seke
Selukwe Shurugwi
Shabani Zvishavane
Shabani Weir Zvishavane Weir
Sikiro Dam Svikiro
Sinoia Chinhoyi
Sipolilo Guruve
Somabula Somabhula
Three Sisters Dam Upper Maleme
Tiyabenzi Dam Shangani
Tjolotjo Tsholotsho
Tobgwe Dam Tongwe
Tuli Thuli
Udu Valley Dam Udu
Umfuli River Mupfure
Umgululu Dam Mgululu
Umhlanga Dam Mhlanga
Umniati River
Munyati / Sanyati
Umtali Mutare
Umvukwes Mvurwi
Umvuma Mvuma
Umzingwane Dam Mzingwane
Urungwe Hurungwe
Victoria (district) Masvingo
Vila Salazar Sango
Wankie Hwange
Wozhele 1 (dam) Hozheri 1
Wozhele 2 (dam) Hozheri 2
Zawi Zave
Previous Story

Mugabe’s Gamble (ca. 1981)

Next Story

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

The Latest From PAMUSOROI!

Pfumo re Vanhu

How to Africanise the war, yet keep the political situation stable and unchanged? The Rhodesians found