Zimbabwe Culture

Zimbabwe Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Zimbabwe

According to EHEALTHFACTS.ORG, Zimbabwe is a country located in Africa. The daily distribution in Zimbabwe is relatively small (18 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). There are two major daily newspapers, The Herald in Harare (edition: about 120,000 copies) and The Chronicle in Bulawayo (about 45,000 copies), both founded in the 1890s and since the country’s independence in 1980 owned by a state publishing house that also owns a number of other newspapers. Freedom of the press is considered somewhat limited, but the public debate is relatively open.

Radio and TV are operated by the state, partially advertising-financed Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), founded in 1957. The radio broadcasts in four national channels, in English, Shona, Ndebele and other local languages, and TV in two. Radio and TV news usually reflects the government’s view. There are 362 radio and 30 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, Zimbabwe is known for its stone sculptures. However, the country has no ancient sculpture tradition; before the 20th century it was unusual to work in stone. There are long oral storytelling traditions in both Shona and Ndebele, but the written languages ​​were first developed in the 19th century.

The sculpture art gained momentum in the early 1900s when missionaries wanted their chapels adorned. The real success came first in the 1950s. Frank McEwen became the new director of the Harare Art Museum in 1956. He then opened a museum workshop where anyone who wanted to try sculpting had access to stone and tools. Several artists, such as Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Joram Mariga, and John and Bernard Takawira, have testified about how McEwen played a major role in their artistic development.

A new direction in stone sculpture emerged in 1966, when farmer Tom Blomefield was forced to dismiss farmers on his farm in northern Zimbabwe after the tobacco harvest failed. The workers instead had to break and process stones near his Tengenenge farm in Sipolilo. Several famous artists, such as Bernard Matemera, Sylvester Mubayi, Fanizani and Henry Munyaradzi, developed in this school.

The scriptural languages ​​for Shona and Ndebele were developed by Christian missionaries. In 1956, the first novel on the shona, Feso was published by Solomon Mutswairos. Ten years later, the first more significant novel appeared in English, On Trial for my Country by Stanlake Samkange. British Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, grew up in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and has, for example, critically described the children of the Violence in the segregated colony. In addition to Stanlake Samkange, the important black writers include Wilson Katiyo.

Among a later generation of writers are Charles Mungoshi (Waiting for the rain, 1975; in Swedish, among others, the short collection The Empty House), Dambudzo Marechera (House of hunger, 1978) and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Nervous conditions, 1988). Among the more well-known contemporary authors are Chenjerai Howe, Charles Mungoshi and Yvonne Vera, all of which are translated into Swedish. British Alexander McCall Smith, who wrote the success books on the Women’s Detective Agency, grew up in Zimbabwe.

The Shona people have a well-developed music life. The bass consists of different types of drums and rattles with associated dances. Mbiran (tump piano) is a snap instrument made of bamboo or metal enamels, mounted on a block over half a gourd. Also special are the stringed instrument bow and xylophone marimba. The instruments are mainly presented on special occasions such as traditional weddings or chieftaincy installations.

There is also contemporary pop music that is characterized by traditional music. The so-called chimurenga music (revolutionary music) has become internationally known.



Equity law is toned down

The Government presents proposals to mitigate the law that was adopted in June 2007, which states that foreign companies must transfer shares to domestic interests so that they own at least 51 percent of the shares in the company. The implementation of the law has previously been postponed and now the government wants to give the companies another five years to implement the change. It should also be possible for companies to pay a fee instead of following the law.

Mugabe presidential candidate again

The ruling Zanu-PF appoints President Mugabe as the party’s candidate in the presidential election to be held in 2018. The appointment does not receive much attention. Greater interest revolves around speculation as to who might succeed the 91-year-old Mugabe who has recently shown signs of faltering health.

Agreement with China

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Zimbabwe and is welcomed by an overjoyed President Mugabe. It has been many years since Mugabe was visited by such a highly regarded foreign leader. The countries sign several agreements on economic cooperation. China is the largest importer of tobacco from Zimbabwe and has – as in many other African countries – made major investments in Zimbabwe’s mines, industry and infrastructure.


Property sale

A property owned by the Zimbabwean state in South Africa is being sold at auction, so that white landowners who are removed from their properties will receive compensation. The sale yields just under US $ 300,000, which will mainly cover the costs of the legal process. The former landowners’ lawyers call it a “symbolic victory” and say they are now moving on to get money through the sale of other state property.

Mugabe keeps old talk

President Mugabe draws attention when he gives the wrong speech at the opening of Parliament. Parliamentarians will once again hear the whole speech given by the president at the end of August. The confusion causes the opposition to question whether Mugabe, 91, is capable of leading Zimbabwe. State TV stops the live broadcast from Parliament.


Protests against Mugabe

The opposition is hampering President Mugabe by dropping protest songs as he gives his annual speech in Parliament on the state of the nation.

Trade union protests are stopped

The police are preventing the country’s largest trade union from conducting a protest march by temporarily arresting the leaders just before the manifestation is to take place. The union intended to protest that a number of companies have dismissed thousands of employees in recent months, citing financial problems.


The economy is backing off

The Minister of Finance announces that the growth target for 2015 will not be reached as agricultural production declines due to drought. Growth is now projected to be 1.5 percent compared to the previous 3.2 percent. Zimbabwe’s economy has been in a more or less permanent crisis for more than a decade, with a low growth rate, a lack of cash, a large borrowing burden and high unemployment. The Minister of Finance says the government is working to reduce its largest expenditure item, the salaries of civil servants, from 75 to 40 percent of the budget. Earlier this year, the IMF International Mortgage Institution stated that the country is facing a financially difficult time.

Envoys are threatened from the country

President Mugabe threatens to evict US and UK envoy to Zimbabwe from the country after accusing US and UK governments of sponsoring street vendors to defy government’s orders to leave the core of Zimbabwean cities.


Journalist convicted

A journalist is sentenced to one year in prison for starting a newspaper without the government’s permission.

The Zimbabwean dollar is abandoned

Zimbabwe abolishes its own currency, Zimbabwean dollars. Since the 2009 crisis, US dollars and the South African rand have been used extensively in the country. The authorities justify the decision that one can no longer have two currency systems. Anyone who wants to exchange bank assets in the old local currency gets $ 5 for $ 175 billion Zimbabwean dollars. The last banknote printed in local currency, one billion Zimbabwean dollars, is not even enough for a bus ticket.


On June 10, election elections will be held to replace members who were excluded from MDC-T earlier in the year (see March 2015) and two who have been forced to leave Zanu-PF since taking office for Joice Mujuru. The election elections are boycotted by the MDC-T, which accuses the government side of harassing the party’s supporters and criticizing the fact that the votes have not been seen. In many constituencies, therefore, only Zanu-PF is running and the party wins all the 16 seats that are at stake.

New free trade agreement

Zimbabwe and 25 other countries agree on a new free trade agreement, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which covers most of Africa between Egypt in the north and South Africa in the south. However, before the agreement can come into force, negotiations are required and the agreement is approved by the parliaments of the countries.

Former Vice President apologizes

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru (see December 2014) apologizes in early June for the role she played in Mugabe’s government. Mujuru is expected to challenge Mugabe’s power holdings in the 2018 presidential election. Earlier this spring, she accused the government of its economic policies. Her followers urge Mujuru to form a new political party.


Mujuru excluded

Deputy Vice President Joice Mujuru is excluded from the Zanu-PF government but promises to fight the decision.


Members of Parliament excluded

Parliament’s Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, excludes 21 of the MDC-T members from the Legislative Assembly since they regularly resigned and formed a new party, MDC Renewal (MDC Renewal). The outbreak occurs as a result of MDC-T’s 2013 election loss which the jumpers believe was due to party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership. MDC-T has the right to appoint new members to seven of the seats; the remainder should be added by filling choices.

Activist abducted

Journalist and human rights activist Itai Dzamara is robbed on a street in a suburb of Harare. He is taken away in a car with hidden license plates. Dzamara has played a prominent role in several notable protests against Mugabe’s regime and there are strong suspicions that the CIO security service is behind the abduction. Amnesty International calls on the government to investigate the matter quickly.


Expensive birthday celebrations

President Mugabe celebrates his 91st birthday by inviting thousands of supporters to the party. The party, which takes place at a luxury hotel at a holiday resort on Victoria Falls in northwestern Zimbabwe, is losing out on more than SEK 8 million. The opposition calls the event “obscene” given the economic crisis in the country.

More purges

Purges within the ruling party of supporters of deposed Deputy President Joice Mujuru continue.



President Mugabe takes over the presidency of the African Union.

Zimbabwe Culture

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