Emergence of Ethno-Racial Prejudices and Identities, 1800s–1970s

  • Christopher Roy Zembe


The distinguishing features that characterised Zimbabwe’s national identity could not be understood in isolation as conflicting and differentiated processes of ethnicity and race developed during the pre-colonial and colonial phases of the country’s history. Divided in two sections, the chapter forms the basis of historical debates exploring the influence of socio-economic and political systems on the processes of creating a Zimbabwean national identity. The first section examines the pre-colonial origins of Shona–Ndebele tensions which formed the basis of ethnic allegiances in subsequent generations and the implementation of a divide-and-rule agenda by the colonial administration. The chapter’s second section exposes how race and ethnicity as identities promoted by the colonial administration and within the Nationalist Movement served to create boundaries and dichotomies that were to demarcate the mental spaces of Zimbabweans as they attempt to forge interactions.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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