36 Facts About Zimbabwe You Probably Didn’t Know…

Luke Steyn carrying Zimbabwe flag

While going through the internet recently (Twitter to be exact), we came across an interesting profile that shares facts about Zimbabwe and its people: @ZimboFacts

We sifted through their facts and were amazed at most of them, though we knew them (because we spend most of our time on Pindula) we’re sure a number of people may have overlooked such great facets of history.

Listed below are 36 facts that will have you thinking about how much we need to celebrate our country more (or the strange things we’ve done previously):

  1. Rhodesia, which later became Zimbabwe, was financed into existence by the Rothschild family through their company Rio Tinto.
  2. The original name for Gweru is Kwelo (pheasant). The settlers couldn’t say it so they said Gwelo and the Karanga called it Gweru.
  3. The set up of paths at the Africa Unity Square resembles the British flag: The Union Jack.
  4. Beitbridge (town and bridge) were named after Alfred Beit.
  5. The native name for Beitbridge town is Mzingwane.
  6. Bulawayo road A5 between Chegutu and Kadoma (Chigwel) was made as straight as possible so it could be used as a landing strip during the war.
  7. Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) hosted Africa’s first sponsored horse race, The Castle Tankard, in 1960.
  8. Robert Ullyett, father to Zimbabwe tennis double champion Kevin, represented Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in cricket and field hockey. He was part of the national team that competed at the 1964 Olympics (they beat New Zealand 2–1 and came 11th out of 15)
  9. Webster Shamu was once a radio DJ during the liberation struggle, going by the name Charles Ndhlovu
  10. The criteria for voting in the election of March 1979 was: educational standard, income, worth of property owned. There was “no race discrimination”.
  11. The Zimbabwean dollar was introduced in 1980. The exchange rate at the time was $Z1 = US$1.47.
  12. Peter Ndlovu was the first African player to play in the English Premier League.
  13. Before the national anthem ‘Simudzai Mureza‘ was adopted it was used as a primary school’s choir competition song in 1994
  14. Xtra Large was a 3 member group: Snugga Jim, Likkle N and Judah E who passed on in prison.
  15. Banker Nigel Chanakira co-founded Kingdom Bank when he was 28 years old.
  16. Rufaro Stadium also played host to greyhound racing in the early 1990’s.
  17. The last major sporting event to be hosted by Zimbabwe was the All Africa Games in 1996. In 2003 Zimbabwe co-hosted the Cricket World Cup together with South Africa and Kenya.
  18. At one point Zimbabwe had 4 television stations: Munhumutapa TV, Joy TV, ZTV 1 and ZTV 2
  19. Philip Chiyangwa and friend Peter Pamire financed the bringing of Michael Jackson to Zimbabwe in the 1990’s. This was done through their company called CIA.
  20. Joice Mujuru was awarded 100% disability compensation after stating that she lost her taste in the mouth due to the war.
  21. Brothers-in-law Simon Parkinson and Mark Pozzo had a sports show on the then Radio 1 called Parky & Pozz.
  22. Man City broke their transfer record when they signed Benjani Mwaruwari.
  23. The government was once duped by a traditional healer in to believing that diesel was oozing out of a rock in Chinhoyi
  24. When MDC first won seats in parliament in 2000, Tafadzwa Musekiwa became the youngest MP in Zim at 21.
  25. Econet‘ was named by Dr. Nkosana Moyo and it was an abbreviation for Enhanced Communications Network.
  26. Amazulu F.C. was relegated from the PSL after refusing to play on Saturdays. Club owner Delma Lupepe was a Seventh Day Adventist.
  27. The poem ‘Nehanda Nyakasikana‘ which was made popular by the late Simon Muzenda, was penned by Solomon Mutsvairo
  28. Prince Edward School was to be renamed Murenga Boys School after a Njelele high spirit who is said to have assisted in the First Chimurenga
  29. The movies More Time and Yellow Card where filmed mostly in the high density suburb of Mbare.
  30. The late Sam Levy owned Ximex Mall before he sold it to NSSA who then razed it down and turned it into a car park.
  31. According to the Zimbabwe constitution there are 16 officially recognised languages, with sign language being one of them.
  32. Gwanda got its first set of traffic lights in January of 2016. The first ever traffic lights in Matebeleland South were installed in Beitbridge in 2011.
  33. It is a breach of Zimbabwean law to sell products bearing the colours of the national flag.
  34. As part of etiquette to the Zimbabwean flag, it should never touch the ground. When it gets torn it should be disposed in a dignified way.
  35. The Repertory Players is the full name for Reps theatre.
  36. Reserve Bank governor Dr. John Mangudya is the only governor since independence still to have his signature and name on a currency.

Follow @ZimboFacts on Twitter for more updates.

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