48 Interesting Facts About Zimbabwe

Last updated on May 15th, 2023

15 Facts about Zimbabwe culture

1. The Great Zimbabwean Kingdom: between the 11th and 15th century, Shona people are believed to have built The Great Zimbabwean ruins. It is estimated that about 20,000 inhabitants resided in it. This stone built ruins was where the famous Zimbabwe Birds were found.

2. Vadoma people: these are a small group of people that live in the western part of Zimbabwe, now commonly referred to as “ostrich people” or “the two-toed ” tribe. This is because 25% of the people from this tribe are born with a genetic defect called ectrodactyly, where they don’t have three toes in the middle of their feet. Vadoma people are restricted from marrying outside their tribe, therefore the defect remains among them, passed from parents to children.

Zimbabwe fact file: a genetic defect called ectrodactyly
Ectrodactyly on the hand of a one-year-old child. Image credit – Wikipedia

3. Zimbabwean art: Shona culture in Zimbabwe is well respected for their art all over the world, having them displayed in galleries worldwide and their costly price to signify their quality. Matabele people are famous for their work with wood, creating masterpieces that only they can do. Besides wood carvings, they can also do other artworks like stone carving, pottery, beadworks, basket ware, jewelry, textile among many others.

4. Customs and beliefs: Zimbabwean culture is full of traditions and customs that are extremely detailed. Just like most European colonies, Zimbabwe people are Christians. Apart from Christianity, Mwari is the most practiced religion, which involves worshiping ancestor as well as spiritual intercessions.

5. Languages: Shona, English, and Ndebele are the languages that are commonly spoken by Zimbabwe people and are officially documented. English is mainly spoken in urban areas, and mostly by the minority white community. Shona is the most widely spoken language, by about 76% of the people, followed by the Ndebele with about 18% of the people speaking it, although there are 16 other languages, which are also officially recognized.

6. Sports: Football is the most important sport in this country, which is played by a majority of the Africans. Rugby and cricket are also played, although they were popular among the white people before they became a favorite for all of the Zimbabweans.

7. Feso: this is a 1957 novel by Solomon Mutswairo. It is considered to be the first novel that fuses the oral tradition of the Shona into a novel.

8. Education: in schools around Zimbabwe, English, Shona, and Ndebele are the main modes of communication. Usually, when students are below the fourth grade, they use their native languages to learn. But afterward, English is included in their curriculum.

9. Bota: this is a staple food for the Zimbabweans, mostly taken as breakfast. It is a kind of porridge, with a cornmeal and water mixture. Peanut butter or just butter is added to it in order to add flavor.

10. Meals: the common delicacy for Zimbabweans is chicken and rice, served together with coleslaw salad. During lunch and supper, Sadza is mainly eaten, which is a lot more like Bota. Other foods that they enjoy are Nhedzi soup (wild mushrooms) and game meat such as meat from ostrich, crocodiles, and warthogs.

11. Important celebrations: the people of Zimbabwe hold celebrations with family and friends on special occasions. During these occasions, cows, goats, and sheep are killed and then barbecued to mark them.

12. Miss Heritage contest: this contest made its debut in 2012. It is usually held in order to crown a new beauty pageant for the nation.

13. Social: the people in Zimbabwe are known to be courteous, friendly and cheerful. When meeting people most of them shake hands or say the common greetings. When women meet men, they curtsy or at gatherings they crouch down, as a sign of respect.

14. Music: music styles practiced by Zimbabweans are mainly pop or folk. For the folk music instruments like the drums, Mbira and Hosho are used to make it.

15. Marriage: in Zimbabwe, there are two types of marriages that are lawfully recognized, customary marriage and civil marriage. Customary marriages may result to polygamy and are legal only for the black people, and usually, the marriages end up when either the man or the woman dies, since divorce is rarely experienced. Civil marriages may, however, end due to divorce or death and the marriages are usually monogamous.

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