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Previous names of Zimbabwe - Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia & Nyasaland and Rhodesia.

A Very Brief History of Zimbabwe

Khoisan hunter-gatherers lived in this land before Bantu migrations from central africa and they replaced Khoisan hunter-gatherers.  Ndebele, Ambuya, Nehanda, Chaminuka, Muponda and Shona tribes inhabited in this region when the European colonizers arrived in this area.  In 1893, Cicil Rhodes of British South African Company (BSAC) occupied Mashonaland and started colonization of the land that later came to be known as Rhodesia. Settlers forc- ibly occupied all good arable lands of Shona, Ndebele and drove all native africans into marginal lands. Ndebele and the Shona revolted against white colonialists in what is now called as the First Chimurenga (war of liberation) but they were brutally supressed. Thus, the Southern Rhodesia was administered by BSAC till 1922. British and South African coins were used in this area. In 1922, it became a self-governing colony run by white settlers. First Southern Rhodesian coins were issued in 1932.

In 1953, colonies of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi) formed a union called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland ( also known as Central African Federation). In 1963, federation was dissolved. The white minority of Southern Rhodesia demanded independence from the British government with no political rights to black majority.  The name was changed to Rhodesia in 1964. British refused and the white minority decalred independence and formed an aparthied government in 1965.

Prime Minister Ian Smith declared Rhodesia as a Republic in 1970. However, the resistance to white minrity apartheid rule began through an armed struggle and guerrilla warfare. Zanla and Zipra were the groups that fought for the right of Black Africans to be free from apartheid and gain political rights with the support of other balck african nations. The United Natons and a majority of the nations imposed sanctions against Rhodesia. Zanla resistance intensified into a large-scale uprising known as the Second Chimurenga (War of liberation)  from 1975. This lead to peace talks and free elections with complete political rights for all the people of Rhodesia. Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) won the election in 1980 and set up a balck majority rule in Rhodesia with himself as a Prime Minister. The name was changed to Zimbawe in 1980.  Robert Mugabe revised the constitution in 1987 to make himself President. White Zimbabweans held 70 percent of the arable land at that time. Mugabe began forcebly redistrubute the land to black citizens (His own associates). His other policies have ruined the country's economy and people. By 2005, Robert Mugabe became a dictator and trying to remain in the power through legislative manipulation, election fraud and physical intimidation of opposition leaders and parties.

Circulation coins

Southern Rhodesia

1934 - 36 1937 - 53 1953 - 54

Rhodesia and Nyasaland

1955 - 64


1964 - 66 1970 - 77


1980 - present

Commemorative Coins


Country List



RK. February 24, 2006.
Reference: Wikipedia