A People’s Progress

Enlightened administration of African welfare – an 80 year progress report

Pieces like this one, “Lovers”, by Nicholas Mkomberanwa of the National Workshop School in Salisbury, are eagerly sought by collectors in Europe and America. Not traditional, for there is no artistic tradition among Rhodesia’s African people, today’s art springs from a re-awakening of old instincts lost in a long migration and is spontaneously African.  Mkomberanwa, aged 27, has had no formal training.  In the workaday world he is a policemen.


The People

Visitors to modern Rhodesia may find it hard to imagine what conditions were like when white men first settled here in 1890.  An early photograph (below) may give some idea of how the people were living at that time.


The old woman below was a child in those days. During her lifetime there have been many changes, as is portrayed below.

RHODESIA is today (1970) inhabited by people of several races with different languages, cultures, customs and beliefs. The European, the Asian and the Bantu as well as people of mixed descent have made their homes here and have progressed to nation­hood.

Before the coming of the Bantu tribes, many hundred years ago, the country was inhabited by the small statured Bushman who had not advanced beyond the Stone Age. From the evidence of rock paintings and material gathered from beneath the floors of caves and rock shelters it would appear that they shared the land with the Bantu for a while, the survivors moving away to the Kalahari.

The Bantu were of Negro Hamitic origin. Movement was essential to their way of living and, in their long journey down Africa, which probably lasted a thousand years or so, their progress south­wards was dictated by the seasons, by tribal fighting and by need. Land was abundant and there was no urge to con­serve its goodness. A tribe would settle in an area, build huts of pole and thatch and cultivate small patches of millet. This grain, together with meat obtained in the hunt, wild honey, fruit and roots, formed their diet.

Theirs was a subsistence economy. If a surplus accrued there was the difficulty of storage to be faced, so they tended to live for the day and let the future look after itself. In good years their “bellies were full” but in times of drought they died.

Not only were the Bantu dependent upon the seasons but also upon the fellow members of their tribe or family. They were surrounded by danger and had no means of protection apart from their own community. There was no room for in­dividualism and the wealth of a tribe was measured in people and in cattle, with the stronger preying upon the weaker.

This was the pattern in Rhodesia when the first European hunters and missionaries entered the country in the middle of the 19th century. The Ndebele, an offshoot of the warrior Zulu nation of Natal who had settled in the western portion of the coun­try, were ravaging and plundering the past­oral Shona tribal groups which lived in disunity in the remainder of the country.

When the white and black races met, their contact brought with it problems that are still with us today. The backward society of the African was violently disrup­ted and is gradually being adapted to the sophisticated society of the European.

United under a Constitution and pro­tected by the Common Law, each race maintains its customs and beliefs. African customary law is recognized except where old practices offend in their cruelty. Polygamy is still practised, lobolo – the customary marriage dowry – goes hand in hand with Christian marriage, and the sick still turn to the ancestral spirits for help while accepting the finest medical treatment modern hospitals can offer.

In the pages that follow we see how the advancement of the African is encouraged in Rhodesia. This advancement must be seen against a background of belief in witchcraft and magic, ancestor worship, the lowly status of women and a rigid set of family and community laws which restrict reciprocity with wide groups. Here is the story of a people’s progress.


The Chiefs

Chief Tatazela Kumalo of Inyati, a Matabele of royal blood.
and (below) Chief Mzimuni from Gwanda, and Chief Zwimba, M.B.E., of Lomagundi

A CHIEF is the most important man in his tribal area. His power and influence is derived from the fact that he is the man whose election to the chieftain­ship had the full support of his followers and their tribal spirits. He is the tradi­tional leader, the intermediary between the people and their ancestors. He is the allocator of land, which he holds in trust for his people; for the land, they say, can only belong to God.

This has always been so. But while in olden times the Chief wielded the power of life and death over his people and was concerned with the very survival of his tribe, the Chief of today has different responsibilities. He must have a knowledge of public administration in a modern age. He is concerned with everything that goes on in his area, from the maintenance of law and order, to the provision of such amenities as schools, clinics and public transport. He must consider such matters as the control of grazing, or fishing, the allocation of land, the provision of water, the protection of natural resources and the collection of taxes. He plays a leading part in the development of his area through local government councils and community boards, yet there still remains a close per­sonal relationship between him and his people.

It is to the Chief that the tribesmen go with their troubles. He regularly holds court, assisted by his counsellor elders, and deals with the various matters brought before him. The procedure in his court today is very much the same as it was many years ago and cases are heard in a manner which the people both understand and accept.

Traditionally it was the Chief’s court that made the laws, saw to their enforce­ment and punished those who broke them.

Today these courts deal with a vast field of civil litigation involving adultery, inheri­tance, status, guardianship of children, and debts, to name but a few. The courts of some Chiefs have been granted limited criminal jurisdiction to try cases involving the breach of local authority orders, minor assaults and petty thefts.

Government’s policy in regard to the recognition of Chiefs is clear. The tribal elders and the people themselves must decide in accordance with their customs who is the right person to inherit the Chief­tainship. Once Government is satisfied that the great majority of the people regard a man as the true heir, it gives its official recognition of the new Chief, grants him an allowance and so enhances his prestige in the eyes of his subjects.

As the tribesmen advance so must their Chiefs. In recent years parties of Chiefs have travelled to Britain, Pakistan, Por­tugal, Italy and many far away places to see how others live and to study develop­ment. It is not necessary for a modern tribal Chief to be highly educated but he must have an intelligent appreciation of current problems, for he is the kingpin of administration.

Today there is an association between Rhodesia’s Chiefs which, because of tribal­ism could never have been achieved with­out the influence of the European. In each of the country’s seven administrative pro­vinces an Assembly of Chiefs has been established.

Tribal Chiefs elect representatives to these Provincial Assemblies which meet at least once a year to consider any matter which the Chiefs wish to discuss or which has been referred to them by the Adminis­tration. The Provincial Assemblies in turn elect their members to a Council of Chiefs in a manner which secures as far as practicable equal representation of the tribesmen in each province on this national body.

To this Council the Provincial Assem­blies refer matters of national interest. The Council meets at least twice a year and makes representations to the Government regarding the needs and wishes of the African people.

Since the coming of the European the Chiefs have always been consulted upon constitutional issues, for they are the voice of the people. In Rhodesia’s confronta­tion with Britain both the Council and the Provincial Assemblies have made known their views and have given their fullest support to every step taken by the Rho­desian Government.

The Chiefs of Rhodesia will continue to play their traditionally vital part in the progress of their people.


Schooling mobilizes to meet a population explosion

IN the communal life of the tribe every member had his part to play. There was a marked division of labour. The men cleared the fields and the women culti­vated; the men hunted or made war and the women kept the home and reared the children.

The children were not left in idleness. From an early age they were expected to guard the crops and herd the cattle and goats. As they grew older the boys learned to hunt while their sisters were prepared for marriage by their mothers. Apart from their labours the learning received by these children from their elders fitted them for life in the society in which they lived.

It is therefore understandable that parents were reluctant to send their chil­dren to the strange schools which were introduced by the European with his civil­izing influence. At first they were slow to grasp the fact that these schools would prepare their children for a new way of life which had come to stay. They were reluctant, too, to take over the communal tasks allotted to the children.

In 1908 there were only fifty schools for African children, catering for an average of some 90 pupils each. By 1928 the number of schools had risen to 1 487 and more than 93 000 pupils were enrolled but attendance registers kept during that period disclose that the average pupil was absent for nearly half the school days in the year. After all, there were cattle to be tended and someone had to keep the birds away from the millet. In the words of an official report, “the rate of acceptance by rural Africans of education beyond bare literacy as a desirable aim is very low”.

But all this has changed and in modern Rhodesia the African parent will, if need be, deny himself many things in order to provide for his children’s higher education. There are today 3 272 primary schools providing basic schooling for 692 000 African children. In addition there are 90 senior secondary schools catering for almost 17 000 pupils while 21 teacher training colleges are preparing over two thousand African students for teaching posts in the rapidly expanding system. Junior secondary schools cater for voca­tional preparation, and some 300 of them will be provided for.

Children cheer the completion of a new school building built as a self help project.


Nursery school children (above) in Umtali’s Sakubva Township enjoy a game of football.

All this costs money. More than £8 000 000 – some 12 per cent of the total national budget – was voted by Parliament for African education in the financial year 1968-69. The salaries of more than 18 000 teachers, accepted as the responsi­bility of Government, account for the greatest proportion of this expenditure. There are, of course, other agencies contri­buting handsomely in cash and in kind towards carrying the enormous burden of providing more and more schooling for more and more youngsters.

Because of the gigantic cost, it would be beyond the country’s present capacity to provide every African child with a secon­dary education. The aim is therefore to give each and every child a primary course of education and to make secondary school­ing available to some 50 per cent. of those who complete the primary course. By careful selection the top 12,5 per cent of those completing primary school will be creamed off for a full four-year academic course of secondary education which will lead on to qualifications for entrance to University.

It is at the higher educational levels that the African and European educa­tional systems merge. Members of all races attend the various modern technical colleges and the University College in Salisbury together.

For the next 37,5 per cent of the primary school leavers, who do not succeed in qualifying for admission to the academic courses in the senior secondary schools, there are vocational courses available in the junior secondary schools which will fit them for the Junior Certificate examina­tion and provide them with the qualifica­tions necessary to enter apprenticeship.

Opened in 1946, Goromonzi was one of the country’s first secondary schools for Africans. Above: Boarding accommodation is provided for both boys and girls. In the top picture a sixth form girl is seen at work in the science laboratory.


Instruction in English by teachers to whom it is a second language can lead to transmission of faults and, in time, a local deterioration of the spoken lan­guage. The danger is recognized by Rhodesia’s Ministry of Education and it is one of the functions of the Ministry’s Audio-Visual Services to provide courses in remedial English for African teachers.


At Capota School for the Blind a teacher helps a young pupil to improve his braille reading speed. Various arts and crafts are taught at Capota as well as the self-confidence so necessary for blind folk who wish to make their own way in a sighted world.
It was the missionaries who brought the first schools to Rhodesia and even today they play a major role. The African too has done his share in the development of the educational system. Village com­munities have worked together with a will to provide school buildings in the rural areas and today, following the introduc­tion of the concept of local government into the tribal areas, more and more schools are being established or taken over by African Councils.

Rhodesia today enjoys a literacy rate that is higher than anywhere else on the continent of Africa except South Africa. From remote tribal villages have come lawyers, doctors, teachers, Members of Parliament, and many more will follow. Here is a shining example of progress.


Health Services – a healthy people in a healthy country

Doubling three times in less than 70 years, Rhodesia’s African population has exploded from half a million at the turn of the century to 4 370 000 in 1968. Each year stretches the span of life ex­pectancy for both male and female. More babies are being born than ever before. Infant mortality is dropping spectacularly. Half the population is under 17 years of age.

Ante- and post-natal care is available from a network of hospitals, clinics and health centres spread wide across the country. Every hospital has its mater­nity unit. Helping new arrivals into the world is no longer the prerogative of the shrivelled old crones of the village. Alert, bright young midwives, them­selves a product of the post-war popu­lation surge and trained in the most modern methods, have shrugged off “the superstitions of the village. At Harari Central Hospital (right) alone, more than 7 000 African babies are born each year. Here, and at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, there is a heavy demand by qualified state registered nurses of all races for the midwifery training provided.

THE advancement of the African people, we have said, must be seen against a background of belief in witchcraft and magic. This is of particular importance when we look at Rhodesia’s medical services.

The tribesmen, like their forefathers, do not accept that sickness, accident or death, except in the case of the aged, can be due to natural causes. These misfortunes they believe are brought about through witchcraft or the actions of a spirit which is trying to draw attention to some wrong which may have aggrieved it.

A child, for example, may be made ill by the spirit of his maternal grandfather who is drawing attention to the fact that the child’s father neglected to pay all the lobolo due to him in respect of the marriage agreement. This is discovered when the child’s father seeks the advice of a diviner and the “bones” are thrown to reveal the cause of’ the child’s sickness. Father hastens to appease the spirit of his depar­ted father-in-law and his child recovers. Germs and dirt and polluted water have nothing to do with it, nor has carelessness in the case of an accident. The man who falls from a tree and injures himself probably does so because an enemy has bewitched him. The diviner’s “bones” will tell-and steps will be taken to put matters right.

Besides the diviner, the herbalist may be consulted with regard to minor ailments, to treat which he or she produces a wide range of concoctions from roots and animal fats.

These often aggravate the condition but sometimes cure it. Even today a great deal of permanent blindness could be avoided if the herbalist’s rough home made remedies were not dropped into the delicate tissue of the eyes.

The European brought with him medical services which have benefited the African population enormously. The emphasis at first, of course, was on the provision of hospital services rather than on public health, but later a Public Health Act was promulgated which made local authorities responsible for public health services within their areas. Then the Government estab­lished a provincial health organization to provide preventive services in areas not covered by local authorities.

Less than half a million Africans lived in Rhodesia at the turn of the century. By 1968 this number was estimated to have increased to 4,370,000. Annual increase is running at 3,4 per cent and infant mor­tality – a reliable index of the level of health a reliable index of the level of health services – has dropped to 31 per thousand live births in the main African urban areas. In many parts of the world, by contrast, infant mortality is still as high as 300 per thousand.

Rhodesia’s figure of just over four avail­able hospital beds per thousand of the population compares more than favourably with that of most African countries. Direct Government expenditure on health is equivalent to 4.50 U.S. dollars per head per annum, as against less than 2 dollars in most developing countries. Missionary societies find some 45 per cent of the beds available for African patients, mostly in the rural areas, while the larger mining and other industrial concerns provide excellent health and hospital services for their employees of all races.

Leprosy, once common (the picture above was taken about 1908), now exists only in isolated pockets in a few remote and low-lying areas. Plans are in hand for its final eradication.


The African, for so long prey to all the debilitating and deficiency diseases of a backward continent, now seeks medical help for a range of illnesses more similar to those encountered in the affluent western world. Treatment calls for sophisticated equipment, like the “cobalt bomb” at the Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.

Harari Central Hospital for Africans in Salisbury is the largest and best equipped hospital in Central Africa, with a full range of specialties including neurosurgery, thoracic surgery and renal dialysis. About a thousand outpatients are seen each day, and total in-patient admissions during 1967 numbered more than 25 000.

Mpilo Central Hospital, also for Africans, in Bulawayo, is almost identical in design and scope to Harari, but has as well a tuberculosis treatment unit and a modern radiotherapy centre.

For the time being Harari Hospital provides the clinical teaching facilities for Rhodesia’s young medical school, whose first students graduated in December, 1968. The Godfrey Huggins Medical School has a special relationship with Birmingham University and Birmingham medical degrees are conferred. The medical faculty now has nearly 200 students, one-third of whom are Africans.

There are already a number of qualified African doctors in Government service, two of whom are at present undergoing post-graduate training in order to attain specialist consultant status.

Midwifery services have done much to influence conservative African opinion in favour of Western medicine. Every hospi­tal has its maternity unit and provides ante-natal and post-natal care. Also pro­vided where required is advice and assis­tance on family planning. Midwifery training may be undertaken by state registered nurses of all races at the Harari and Mpilo Hospitals.

The Harari Central Hospital for Africans in Salisbury is the largest and best equipped hospital in Central Africa.


One of a number of African doctors in Government service.


Thanks to country-wide cam­paigns of mass miniature radiography, Rhodesia is probably the only country in Africa able to claim a declining incidence of tuberculosis.

Of the 592 student nurses in training in Rhodesia in 1968, 371 were Africans. African health assistants are trained at Domboshawa, and young men with this background make a great contribution to public health, particularly in the fields of health education extension, the sur­veillance and out-patient treatment of tuberculosis and leprosy, in extensive immunization campaigns against tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, smallpox, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles, and in an expanding mental health programme.

Endemic diseases have been brought under control. Tuberculosis is on the decline, and leprosy exists now only in a few low-lying river valleys where surveys are preparing the ground for its final eradica­tion. Malaria has been driven back from the developed areas and is also confined to the lower lying areas. This disease is no longer a serious obstacle to development.

Rhodesia has recently taken another stride forward in the field of local govern­ment, and with it has come a further advance in rural health services. Country areas are now being covered by an increasing number of Rural Councils and African Councils, and these smaller authorities are encouraged to establish preventive health services. The Ministry of Health provides assistance by subsidizing staff to the extent of 50 per cent of their salaries, providing all materials for preventive measures free, and giving grants in aid to the cost of drugs required for the treatment of minor ailments.

The diviner and the herbalist still prac­tise and although the African people have now accepted the medical facilities and modern drugs which are available to all there are still many who, having been cured, will hurry to seek out, from the “bones” the supernatural reason for their misfortunes.

In contrast to the great urban hospitals is this rural health centre, one of many springing up all over the country on the initiative of local African councils.


Patients react in varying ways to their first contacts with orthodox medicine – but they come back for more when the need arises.


And the nursing profession suffers from no lack of recruits.


Agriculture – finest advisory services available at all levels

African vegetable market

IT is but a short time since the tribes scratched the soil and gathered what meagre crops they could before moving away and breaking new land. The plough was unknown. Its coming brought about an agricultural revolution which almost devastated the tribal areas. Used in the hands of ignorant men the plough tore up great tracts of land and at the same time caused erosion problems which were difficult and costly to rectify.

Today, there are nine mouths to feed for everyone then – and there is no room for primitive methods of agriculture. Slowly, modern ideas are being accepted and today the people are better fed, healthier, more vigorous and alert than ever before. They are taller; they are stronger; they live longer. And there is land to provide for their future. There are still, in districts more remote from the highly developed watershed, vast areas awaiting settlement and development. But there is no place now for tribal movement and shifting cultivation. For more than a generation (during which time the population has more than doubled), the Government has continually urged young people and their elders not to forget that the soil and the water that falls on it constitute a heritage they hold in trust for future generations. That this long and patient campaign is bearing fruit was demonstrated recently when the African Council of a Tribal Trust Land in Matabeleland voted £12 000 of its own money for contour ridging to combat soil erosion. Those who would destroy Rhodesia’s harmony say that the soils in the tribal lands are of poor quality while those farmed by the European are fertile. The areas occupied by black and white lie next to one another. The only difference lies in the way they are farmed.

Mealies (Maize), staple diet of the African people, is handled in vast quantities by the statutory marketing organization. Bulk handling facilities are now in the course of introduction.


Water is the key to Rhodesia’s continued agricultural expansion. In 25 years the construction of 24 major dams (not including the immense Kariba scheme) has increased the country’s water stor­age capacity by 132 000 000 acre-feet (one acre-foot equals 272 000 gallons). These, and projected schemes of even greater capacity will change the lives of thousands, perhaps millions, of Rhodesia’s people. This picture is of a section of the African irrigation settlement at Chibuwe on the great Sabi River, the flow of which will one day be almost completely regulated.


Rhodesia’s greatest agricultural problem is that a large proportion of the country’s rural Africans, most of them living in the Tribal Trust Lands, are content to remain at a subsistence level. The subsistence economy, it has been increasingly recognized in recent years, is not so much an economic cage from which these country-dwellers are struggling to escape, as an unfortunate state of mind, which makes them satisfied with their lot. Neither ignorance, nor under-education, nor lack of opportunity is to blame, but, as it has been labelled, the “subsistence mentality”.

The old attitude of letting tomorrow look after itself must be changed. The African people must develop man’s inherent desire to progress.

The problem is being tackled, ener­getically and with success, by the adoption of a policy of community development (which will be discussed more fully below).

However, there are today many thou­sands of Africans who have asserted their individuality by discovering their own incentives. Some 25 000 certificated master farmers and trainees demonstrate the great potentialities of the land when properly farmed. Maize yields of over 30 bags per acre are not uncommon in good seasons. Yields of 5 000 lb per acre have been obtained from cotton, under irriga­tion, while the average under dry land conditions is about 1 500 lb per acre. Groundnuts of various varieties are tradi­tional crops and large quantities are pro­duced annually by African farmers. Tea and coffee production is being fostered in the high rainfall areas of the country’s eastern districts, where large tracts of good land with ideal conditions for these crops are in African hands. A small (but profit­able) industry in the African areas is vegetable seed production-already over 1 000 acres of irrigated land has been devoted to the production of good quality seed which complies in all respects with the rigorous standards laid down by the Ministry of Agriculture. Other farmers in die irrigation settlements have enthusias­tically taken up the growing of fruit and vegetables for canning.

A large proportion of the country’s cattle population is African owned. Ani­mals, however, according to age old cus­tom were not kept for food or sale. They were used in ritual and were symbols of tribal wealth. In the eyes of African society a seller has always been regarded as poorer by a beast rather than as richer by the price it fetched.

It has not been easy for the African cattle owner to adapt to a new outlook. For more than a quarter of a century, sales conducted in public under official auspices with a scale of guaranteed prices based on the weights and grades of the cattle bought have been held regularly at a network of saleyards throughout the African areas. For the most part, sellers have been reluc­tant participants, driven only by the need to find the cash to meet a pressing obliga­tion; and the cattle on offer were the scrawniest and least prepossessing to be found in the seller’s herd. The prices paid, naturally, reflected the quality of the ani­mals offered, and a vicious circle developed, which has only recently been broken.

In the last two or three years some have turned to stall feeding cattle and the marketing of high grade beef. The prices received by the sellers have done much to establish the idea in the minds of more enterprising tribesmen that cattle can be destined from birth for slaughter as beef, and that supplementary stall feeding pro­vides a means of processing inexpensive raw materials into hard cash ..

Cattle improvement schemes have been strongly supported by the Government for many years, and breeding stations have done much to improve indigenous strains. Individual cattle holdings vary widely. In the Eastern Districts and parts of Mashonaland, for instance, primarily fruit and grain producing areas, the average holding is about six per family but as many as 200 to 300 head are owned by families in more arid areas, such as Matabeleland.

That better farming pays dividends is gradually becoming apparent to all but the most conservative-and with this change in outl09k comes increasing demand for the training and extension facilities avail­able.

Rhodesia is justly proud of the services the country can offer to the agricultural community at every level. Training centres (at farmer level) cater mainly for short courses in practical subjects; while several institutions provide secondary level training courses in animal husbandry, farm engineering, soils and crops, farm economics, forestry, land use, irrigation and horticulture. The Chibero Agricul­tural College provides a full three-year course at diploma level; its 1968 intake of enthusiastic young students was the highest ever. The University College of Rhodesia offers a degree course in agriculture.

Extension services provided by the Government and once regarded with sus­picion and even occasional hostility by conservative rural Africans, are now work­ing at full stretch. Nearly 1 500 members of the Department of Conservation and Extension are deployed throughout the African areas. The senior staff of the Ministry of Agriculture includes African officers, either graduates or with diplomas, who understand the inherent beliefs which so often are a bar to the African’s accept­ance of new methods. It is because of the sympathetic guidance of all officers of Government that such increasing use is being made; in the African areas, of fertilizers, modern techniques, improved seed, and mechanization.

Indeed, this is the need throughout the tribal areas – an intensification of agricultural effort. What is wanted is more application to the proper tillage of the soil to conserving it, and increasing its productivity.

In the tribal areas, the Government accepts the responsibility for primary development, such as main roads and bridges. Vast sums have been invested and are being invested every year in water storage and irrigation schemes and in bringing farmers nearer to their markets by driving new roads and spanning rivers.

In the outer periphery, new areas are continually being carved out of the wild for beneficial settlement. In the Gokwe­Binga area alone 7 000 square miles are being opened up. Some tribal lands are overcrowded but there is no real shortage of land. People with enterprise and vision are trekking to the new areas – individuals, family groups and clans, and in one instance a chief with 300 of his followers. In the Tribal Trust Lands, occupation is free; no rent is payable. Arable holdings are generally from 6 to 10 acres and pasturage is available for from 5 to 10 head of cattle-which gives the average peasant farmer the use of from 60 to 100 acres of land.

The African who wishes to obtain free­hold title of good farming land may buy in the African Purchase Areas, where holdings average about 200 acres in the high rainfall areas, but much more in the drier regions where a greater risk attaches to crop production and there is a need for larger stock holdings. In the Unreserved Area (where land may be bought by per­sons of any race) farms are generally larger, many in the 1 000 to 3 000 acre category.

Finance is available to African farmers through the Land Bank, the African Loan Fund, the African Loan and Development Corporation (an independent financial institution) and other agencies.


In 1954 special attention was given to encouraging co-operatives among African producers.

A Registrar of African Co-operative Societies was appointed. His initial function was to convince rural Africans of the benefits of “co-operation” and to persuade them to subscribe the share capital necessary for the formation of societies.

Fifteen years later there were 256 registered societies on his books, with a total membership of 24 445. In his annual report for 1968 he was able to record that secondary development of the co­operative movement was already taking place, i.e. by unions of primary societies. Unions so far are limited to five, with a society membership of 130 – but their potential turn-over is in excess of £1 000 000 annually.

A typical “weight and grade” sale.  These sales, at guaranteed prices, are held regularly throughout the African areas.


The quality of Rhodesia’s handpicked cotton is unsurpassed.

Tremendous Latent Wealth

“THE tribal areas contain a tremendous latent wealth that merely needs to be capitalized, and I see the Corporation playing a major part in achieving this objective.”

The Minister of Finance, the Hon. J.J.Wrathall, was addressing the Institute of Directors in Bulawayo towards the end of 1968 on the subject of the recently constituted Tribal Trust Land Development Corporation. The Act setting up the Corporation describes its purpose as being “to plan, promote, assist and carry out the development in Tribal Trust Land of its natural resources and of industries for the benefit of the people who live there.”

An opposition member of Parliament described the Act as “the Magna Carta of the African people”. In Govern­ment circles, however, it is seen more as an interlocking piece in a pattern of development for the tribal areas which may within a generation revolutionize the lives of the tribesmen who make their homes in those areas-thus enabling them to play their full part in the economic development of Rhodesia as a whole.

Initial share capital of the Corpor­ation has been set at £10 000 000, which may later be increased. The public, as well as the Government, the Tribal Trust Land Board of Trustees and the African Production and Marketing Development Fund, will be invited to subscribe for ordinary shares.

Although the development of agriculture will probably be the Corpora­tion’s initial concern, it is likely that its interests will include the planning and promotion of mining, industrial, agricultural, forestry and commercial undertakings, including banking.

The work of the Corporation will mesh closely with that already in hand by the Government in the field of pri­mary development and in the fostering of community development and local government.

Traditional methods of cultivation are still employed in the tribal areas. The tool in use is a “badza” (hoe).


Community Development

African farmer


Chief and District Commissioner discuss a land settlement scheme

Chief and District Commissioner discuss a land settlement scheme.


MENTIONED, in passing above, in the section on Agriculture is “the adoption of a policy of community development”. Such a phrase, if allowed to pass unqualified, could be misleading; for community development is the very antithesis of the prepared plan that is imposed on the people. Ideally, it is communal self help, springing unbidden from a felt need of the community itself.

However, the Prime Minister, in a directive addressed to the Public Service as a whole in 1965, wrote: “Community development is an active, planned and organized effort to place responsibility for decision making in local affairs on the freely chosen representatives of responsible people at the community and local government levels, and to assist people to acquire the attitudes, knowledge, skills and resources required to solve through communal self help and organization as wide a range of local problems as possible in their own order of priority”. What has been adopted, plainly, is a re­orientation on the part of the Public Service; a change of attitude on the part of officials towards the needs of the people. People are no longer told what they need by civil servants, but are expected to recognize their own needs, and to thrash out on a community basis the decisions that must be implemented to satisfy them.

What if the people feel no needs? What if they are utterly and completely satisfied to remain as they are? What if they are prepared to do no more than grumble that the central government has neglected to satisfy the needs they feel?

These are valid questions; for there is good reason to suppose that tribesmen, left to their own devices, recognize few needs that cannot be satisfied without thought and with little effort from resources immediately at hand. Shelter, food and procreation are, after all, the basic needs. Shelter requires only the cutting of a few poles, plastering them with mud, and thatching a roof with grass. Sufficient grain can be grown on an adjoining plot to feed a family for a season. And if, one year, not quite enough rain falls then the next year might be better. Thus for centuries man and nature achieved a balance – a precarious one, for a succession of lean years could decimate a population.

But the tribesmen were not to be left to their own devices. A developing country with a monetary system imposes demands of its own. To meet these, tribesmen ventured out to seek employment. But having earned sufficient to buy clothes, educate their children and pay their taxes, they would return to their easy-come easy-go existence in the tribal areas. The tribal lands were not enriched as a result of their labours, but impoverished by their absence. Imposed needs (as distinct from felt needs) provided no spur to local development.

Improvement and development in the tribal areas had always been the province of central government. Government, with paternal authoritarianism, made the necessary decisions in such fields as health, education, road and water development and agriculture. The tribal areas became not the responsibility of the tribesmen but their refuge from responsibility.

The adoption of a policy of community development was designed to reverse this trend. It is not a prepared plan imposed on the people, yet it is more than merely the withdrawal of official responsibility for decision making. It is positive rather than negative. It is positive in that it is a policy of assisting the people to acquire the knowledge, skills and resources required to solve their local problems. It is positive in that it seeks to instill in them a desire to be masters of their environment rather than its victims.

Felt needs mayor may not be spontane­ous. Among a fatalistic people, accustomed to contentment with their lot, it is more probable that some sort of stimulus must be applied; and this too is a positive aspect of community development policy.

The stimulus applied is persuasive, for the lesson has been well learned that no man can successfully be compelled to better himself. Community development as practiced in Rhodesia (and not only in Rhodesia, for it forms part of the national development programme in more than 50 countries throughout the world) is, particularly in its introductory stages, essentially a “soft sell” technique. Leading practitioners describe the approach as “non-directive”. No direct pressures are applied. A recent series of newspaper articles described one of the tasks of the District Commissioners as that of breeding “a special kind of discontent”.

Simplified tribal structure in Rhodesia

The diagram above provides a simplified picture of the structure of tribal life in Rhodesia today.


“The need”, the writer continued, “is to shake the bulk of the tribesmen out of placid acceptance of life as it is; to make them discontented with their present generally hand-to-mouth life. Without that discontent, without a desire to achieve a higher standard of living, the physical work done in the tribal trust lands will not achieve its potential, and they will stagnate.”

Encouraging discontent is a delicate task, but it does goad people into identifying their own wants.

This is the starting point in the field of community development. On the face of it the next step forward is a step back. Because there are bound to be disadvantages as well as advantages for the people in any change they show a desire to implement, community development specialists stress that every disadvantage and difficulty must be pointed out. If the people still evince a desire to proceed, despite the difficulties and having themselves established a favourable balance of advantages, then it may be assumed that they have become sufficiently involved to stand a good chance of seeing the project through. Success breeds success, and the develop­ment that takes place is simultaneously an enrichment both of the environment and of the people who by their own efforts have achieved it.

Community development policy envisages the voluntary acceptance by communities of local government organization at two distinct levels in addition to the ad hoc project committee which is often what actually sets the community development ball rolling.

The lower level is the non-statutory community board, which has usually formed around and worked together with the traditional tribal elders but often has “commoners” as members. The proceedings of a community board might, to western eyes, seem somewhat informal. Minutes are often of the sketchiest and resolutions impracticable. The impression is superficial, however, for although there is little documentation, the mere formation of the board has probably been attended by the utmost formality and attention to protocol, with much coming and going and sounding of attitudes. The status of certain members, the functions of others and the patronage of the chief are all vital to the subsequent success of the board, and months may pass before a full board is convened.

Behind all this is the shadowy figure of the community adviser, who is the stirrer­up, the stimulator of ideas, at the same time messenger, intermediary, sometimes mediator, often dogsbody. He has been trained at the Government’s Domboshawa Training Centre, and upon his personality and approach to his duties much will depend.

In the atmosphere of the community board an educative process comes into play. Once the ball has begun to roll, projects come jostling in. Members find themselves exercising all their intellectual resources in allotting diem an order of priority – drawing up an “overall economic development plan” for the community. They soon realize the necessity to keep records, both of proceedings and of financial transactions. They learn the value of their local resources and the manner in which these may be supplemented by assistance from other communities and the central Government. They discover where to seek advice and how to plan ahead. And finally they learn for themselves the limi­tations of a non-statutory body, to which the representatives of central Government may supply advice and material aid but not financial assistance.

The second level is the council established in terms of the African Councils Act. This is a body representative of a community or group’ of communities which is sufficiently viable to maintain an efficient system of local government, em­ploy staff, levy rates, provide continuing services to the people in its area and administer such powers and responsibilities (including grants-in-aid) as the central Government may devolve upon it.

The Government provides courses at Domboshawa for councillors, council secretaries and others involved in the operation of the machinery of local government.

African tractor with road grader - Wedza district

Many councils, like this one at Wedza (above), operate their own plant for the maintenance of the local network of roads.


A new community adviser

Jane Badza passes out as a qualified community adviser. New attitudes among women are vital to community development.


Already there are 78 councils in the tribal areas. By the end of 1969 this number may have grown to 130. The potential maximum number of viable councils is thought to be about 250.

Some are more lively, some more affluent than others. The Mzinyatini Council in Matabeleland administers a 75 acre irrigation scheme. It has spent £13 000 of its reserves to extend the facilities of the local secondary school. It has paid for the construction of 17 miles ‘of new roads and sunk six new wells. South Nata Council runs nine clinics in conjunction with the Red Cross and one on its own account. It owns and operates its own ambulance service and employs and provides transport for the trained nurse who supervizes the clinics. The council has its own public works department, which maintains 400 miles of road and operates a motorized grader as well as a seven-ton lorry with tripod attachment for borehole main­tenance. This particular council derives its revenue from numerous sources including a £1 a year rate levied on every pastoralist and agriculturist and 10 shillings on every adult male resident; dog tax; cattle dip­ping fees; trading and bottle store licences.

By their own efforts councils earn financial assistance from the central government. To obtain a block grant from the Ministry of Internal Affairs a council must first collect its rates – for the grant is calculated on a formula of 16 shillings in the pound. A salary grant is payable on the wages paid to council officials and percentage grants are paid on the amounts spent by the council on approved projects within its area. A loan fund has been set up to help councils meet the capital costs of administrative and primary school buildings. To qualify for financial aid from the Ministry of Education the council must assume responsibility for a school and maintain its standards. For a Ministry of Health grant it must operate its own health service in terms of standards laid down.

From their own rates and other sources of income, together with central Government grants, some councils are already handling quite large budgets. The Ndanga Council, for instance, is expected to produce a £34 000 budget during 1969.

Thus Rhodesia’s rural communities are absorbing the values and proceedings of a modern democracy at the same time as they harness their own immense resources and put them to work for their communal benefit. Day by day, project by project, responsibility by responsibility, community pride is being conserved and strengthened.


The Industrial Scene

Rhodesian African miners

Miners winning gold from the depths of the Globe and Phoenix Mine.

Up to the outbreak of the second world war in 1939, the average tribesman in Rhodesia had little real interest in becoming an industrial worker. It is true that in the major towns a substantial number of Africans were working in such industries as then existed, but such work was often regarded as a necessary evil, to be endured only for so long as it might take to save up enough money to meet a lobola commitment or to buy a bicycle, or in order to acquire some cash with which to resume, in rather more comfort, the traditional way of life “back home”.

Ever since the Masters’ and Servants’ Act came into force in 1899, workers had had the legal right and protection to associate together for a common purpose and there had been a number of somewhat immature attempts by Africans to form associations of workers, which followed the pattern of trade unions overseas. Up to this time, the Government had taken no steps to provide for the regulation of African trade unions and the few which existed were quite disorganized.

It might be said that, up to the middle ‘thirties, because of his migratory habits and lack of skill, the African had virtually no place in industry.

It was for this reason, amongst others, that the Government of the day was prompted to make the Industrial Con­ciliation Act differential by excluding the African from its application.

However, the development of industry in Rhodesia since 1939, and the impetus given to it by industrial production during the war presented the African with the opportunity of acquiring degrees of skill in the use of tools and machinery, and the immediate post-war period saw the emer­gence of a new African urbanization, with a rising standard of education and an urgency for employment in industry.

In order to regulate the conditions for such African workers, to lay down mini­mum rates of pay and to endeavour to establish a fair relationship between em­ployee and employer, the Government passed the Native Labour Boards Act in 1947. This was a step in the right direc­tion, but it became necessary to amend the Act so that a separate Labour Board could be set up for each industry. This system worked well in the early stages but, while satisfying certain needs, the Act was deficient in the sense that its scope was not wide enough to allow for negotiated con­ditions of employment between African employees and their employers.

In the early ‘fifties the African showed his first real signs of combining together in sophisticated trade unions. It was for this reason that some up-to-date legislation appeared desirable to give rein to these aspirations and provide an opportunity to Africans to participate in collective bar­gaining. The Industrial Conciliation Act, 1959, is non-racial in its application and provides that where an industrial council is not registered for the interests of em­ployees in a particular industry, the Minister may set up an industrial board. There are now 55 industrial boards in operation for specific industries and these boards make recommendations in regard to conditions of employment, including wages, from which the Minister frames employment regulations.

Sound labour legislation ensures continuing expansion

Electronics worker

These people contribute to the country’s prosperity – the bustling assembly line of a multi-million pound radio industry (above)


Jewellery worker

A tiny workshop producing fine jewellery.


Curio seller

A little girl selling clay pots at the road­side.

Wage levels for Africans in employment in Rhodesia are generally higher than in any other country on the African continent apart from South Africa. In the Government service qualified Africans receive the same salaries and other benefits as do their European colleagues.

Approximately 605 000 Africans are at present in employment – a figure which does not include the self-employed and those who are themselves employers, nor the tens of thousands engaged as pastoralists in the tribal areas. Of these some 240 000 are foreigners – men who have left their own independent countries to the north to cross Rhodesia’s borders and work in a country where there are greater opportunities for gainful employment.

The majority of the African workers in urban industry are unskilled or semi­skilled but an increasing number are acquiring skills. In all cases the prescribed wage rate must be paid, regardless of the race of the person performing the work. For unskilled work, the minimum wage rate set by various industrial boards ranges from £8.50 per month to £14.63 per month.  (rates as at 1970) An accommodation allowance of £1.50 per month is also paid by the em­ployer and provision is made for holiday and sick-leave benefits.

In the case of semi-skilled work the minimum rates vary to some extent in the different industries. Examples of current (1970) prescribed rates are £26 per month for “enamel sprayers”, £13.27 per month for “outside stitchers”, £27.68 per month for “chambon machine operators” and £24.38 for “printers’ assistants”.

However, under a personal merit rating system the minimum rates referred to above often bear little relation to what employers are prepared to pay. This may again be illustrated by the fact that in Salisbury one large manufacturing establishment employs eight African workers at salaries of over £100 per month and an omnibus company employs over 351 Africans at salaries in excess of £25 per month, (1970 rates) with fringe benefits which include free transport, qualified medical attention, laundry, and a subsidized canteen. Another firm employs a large staff of Africans, all of whom receive salaries of more than £26 per month.

Under the industrial boards system about 76 000 workers have their conditions laid down by employment regulations. Under the industrial council system, in which non-racial trade unions participate, about 99 000 workers have their conditions of service set by free negotiation between employer and employee representatives.

The African industrial worker is steadily advancing beside the European in the industrial sector of Rhodesia’s economy.

Standards of living are improving rapidly and industrialized Africans are drifting away from the old practice of having one foot in their tribal homelands and the other on the factory floor. Most of them are interested in their jobs, and the vast majority are content to move with the times, enjoying the full protection which is provided by industrial legislation.

Only one generation removed from a pastoral life in the tribal areas, these operatives in a Gwelo factory produce more than £5 000 000 produce more than £5 000 000 worth of foot­wear annually.


Rhodesian Alloys worker - Gwelo

Industrialization in the Midlands has provided employment opportunities for many thousands of Africans. This cheerful workman is employed by Rhodesian Alloys in Gwelo.


African furnace worker in Rhodesia

Nothing could be farther removed from a simple life of herding cattle and subsistence tillage than the task of tending a furnace (above) in which 30 foot steel billets are heated to 1200°C – or minding a complex knitting machine (below) contributing its quota to the output of Rhodesia’s rapidly expanding textile industry.

Knitting machine attendant - Rhodesia


THERE is a tide in the affairs of men … which taken at the flood …

Mr & Mrs Alfred Zwambila

The Zwambilas – Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Zwambila – recog­nized the tide and took it at the flood. For them, while they are still young, it has already led to a modest fortune, with no limit to future possibilities.

The African with business talent enjoys unparalleled opportunities in the field of commerce. Protected against white competition in his own areas, his customer relations can be what he makes them among a people who have a sharp eye for a bargain but yet show great loyalty to a trader who carefully builds a reputation for fair and honest dealing.

The story of Mr. and Mrs. Zwambila parallels that of many others who by personal initiative and hard work have made a success of their lives and businesses.

Mr. Zwambila was a clerk with a Bulawayo firm, his wife a trained nurse. In his own time Mr. Zwambila studied book­keeping and accounts. With their joint income they were comfortably off, but both realized that they were not extended to the limit of their capabilities.

Their opportunity came when the Government decided to enforce a ruling that proper sets of books be kept by African businessmen as well as European. He resigned from his secure job and set up on his own account.

At first he offered his services only to those who had received final income tax warnings. Meanwhile he taught his wife so that she could become a partner in his business. Soon they were looking after the affairs of 36 businessmen in Bulawayo.

Times were hard while they struggled to build up a regular clientele of substan­tial businessmen. Mrs. Zwambila kept the family accounts. All profits were ploughed back into the business. There were no luxuries, but Mrs. Zwambila allowed her husband “pocket money” of sixpence a day – fourpence of which he spent on a news­paper, and twopence he saved for a mug of beer on Saturday.

One day the City Council announced that henceforward, applicants who could prove a capital of £2 000 would be per­mitted to develop their own premises in the African trading area. By then the Zwambilas’ joint savings account amounted to £1 300. They applied just the same, and so impressed the board with evidence of their thrift and industry that the con­ditions were relaxed in their favour.

Band at the Marisha Cocktail Bar in Bulawayo

In 1965 they opened their first shop, and a year later it became a supermarket. Their latest venture is the plush Marisha Cocktail Bar, where the tired businessman can relax and listen to the resident band and be served by smartly uniformed waitresses with “Maverick” ties.

Despite her business sense, Mrs. Zwambila remains a sentimentalist at heart. The bar is named after a sick child whom she once nursed back to health.

… leads on to fortune

Pelandaba Store

In 1964 Mr. Mtshumayeli opened the Pelandaba Store and Hotel (above) in the village of Kezi.


Mr Mtshumayeli in front of one of his buses

His business interests continue to grow and he now operates a fleet of 13 buses and employs a fleet manager and a staff of inspectors as well as drivers, conductors, book-keepers, store managers and assistants.


OPPORTUNITY is not confined to the towns. Increasingly the countryman is being drawn into the cash economy. With money in his pocket he demands his share of the more sophisticated services enjoyed by his urban cousin.

Joseph Mtshumayeli is one of a new dynamic breed of men who, in every part of the country, have set out to satisfy this need.

As a young man he borrowed £20 from his father and set up as a tailor – repairing torn khaki shirts and shorts and making little dresses for schoolgirls.  After the war he opened his own store near the Botswana border, where he was able to cater for nomadic Botswana herdsmen as well as for his own community, and in 1959 he bought his first bus. Obtaining a permit to operate a passenger service was more difficult than he had foreseen, so when it was granted at last he called his bus service Pelandaba – “the trouble is over“.

In 1964 Mr. Mtshumayeli opened the Pelandaba Store and Hotel (above) in the village of Kezi. His business interests continue to grow and he now operates a fleet of 13 buses and employs a fleet manager and a staff of inspectors as well as drivers, conductors, book-keepers, store managers and assistants.

Sculptor Joseph Muli

Success of another kind has been achieved by Joseph Muli from Kenya; Muli settled in this country because he believes that Rhodesia offers a greater appreciation of traditional art. He is seen here with his wood-carving, “Mother and Child”.


Businessman Mr PG Murambiwa

MR. P. G. MURAMBIWA (above) has something to smile about. By means of energy, initiative and merchandizing knowhow he has climbed to the position of managing director in a new Machipisa Bros. (Pvt.) Ltd. supermarket enterprise situated in an excellent trading position on the market square in Salisbury’s Harari Township. Here the store’s many customers (below) receive cheerful service from well-trained salesmen and cashiers.

Machipisa Supermarket, Harari, Salisbury, Rhodesia



Mwamuka Motors, Highfield, Salisbury

Mwamuka Motors (above) is an example of a go-ahead African-controlled garage and service station catering to the needs of the increasing number of car owners in the Highfield Township, just outside Salisbury.
Qualified mechanics (below), some of them Europeans, maintain the large fleet of buses belonging to the African­ owned Ruredzo Bus Service. Altogether some     10 000 passengers a day are carried by African-owned buses operating between Salisbury and the outlying rural areas.

Ruredzo Motors


The Women

Women stamping mielies in Rhodesia's Tribal Trust Lands

By far the greater part of the country’s women still live under tribal conditions and occupy themselves with traditional pursuits, such as tilling the land and pounding the grain.


New ways for African women

Decades of devoted service by missionaries, educationists, health and agricultural administrators, and volun­tary social workers, have made their mark. Women have been weaned from blind acceptance of the ways of their forebears. They are now actively in search of the knowledge and means to improve the quality of life for them.


Student at the Kwanongoma College of Music

The girl, above, by pursuing studies that are academic rather than vocational, shows faith in the future of her people while not betraying the past. At the Kwanongoma College of Music, pupils study traditional as well as modern instruments.


LESS than a hundred years ago, Rhodesia was a land of marauding tribes and wild animals. Tribal traditions, customs and community pressures ruled the lives of all its people. The individual was of importance only in so far as his function contributed to the purpose of the social whole, and this purpose was, primarily ­ to survive.

It was man’s part, in the pattern of survival, to fight in wars, to hunt and to deliberate: woman’s, to bear children, to till the land and to cook the food. Men, by virtue of their functions, were the arbiters of affairs: women, lacking influence had slipped into subjection.

Yet woman’s status, on the face of it inferior, was in some ways privileged. She might with impunity use her shrewishness to oblige her husband to clear thick bush and provide her with the land on which to cultivate his crops, or to cut and carry the poles for her hut. But the huts and the lands were the limit of her horizon. Beyond them she was not expected to think – far less to initiate.

The practice of polygamy assured her of a mate in a society in which the males who survived the spears of their enemies and the claws of wild animals might other­wise have been at a premium.

The custom of lobola had a twofold purpose-to pass guardianship of children to the husband and to ensure, within customary bounds, proper treatment of the wife.

Orphaned, responsibility for her devolved automatically upon an uncle. Widowed, she might be inherited by a surviving brother of her husband. In either case the tenor of her life would change but little.

In much the same way as they had traditionally protected their womenfolk from the dangers of the wild, so for several decades did the males endeavour to shield them from the impact of the twentieth century.

It was men who first wrestled with the problems of a cash economy – and wrestled alone; men who first explored the intricacies of the modern civilization that was growing up beside them, and tasted its delights; and men who first sought to achieve the skills that would enable them to play their part in both.

Sons were sent to school while daughters were kept at home. Males became men of the world while preferring females to remain simple women of the village.

Only in recent years have women begun to emerge from tutelage. Many influences have contributed to their increasing emergence as individuals in their own right, but none more effectively than the encouragement of their menfolk. Townsmen have in many cases realized that the rustic virtues their fathers (or even their elder brothers) looked for in a wife could be a hindrance in their career or social aspirations; and there is evidence that fathers may now expect a higher bride-price for an educated daughter.

The tide has turned, and while many women in the rural areas still cling to their simple way of life, they now appreciate modern medical facilities and seek education for their children.

Many adult women are confused by the changes they have experienced within their lifetime. At the same time, a new generation is growing up which more easily accepts the social flux. Young women are achieving power and status while yet unmarried. Young wives with training and qualifications, by contributing their earnings to the family pool are able to make of the marriage bond a truer partnership than ever their mothers achieved.

In the towns, the changing status of women is particularly noticeable. In many families husband and wife walk side by side, sharing the burdens, instead of the more traditional heavily-laden wife following a few paces behind an empty­handed husband. Many years ago only men made purchases in shops, but today the housewife, with her housekeeping allowance in purse or handbag, does the shopping for her family. Young women dress with taste, use cosmetics, and faithfully attend to their beauty routines. Families dine together, male and female, and engage in conversation concerning the news of the day. Women are escorted, with due gallantry, to western style entertainments – ballroom dancing or a round of cocktails.

After centuries of subjection to the whims of men and the arbitrary disciplines of a primitive society, women are emerging at last from a cocoon that was both protective and repressive.  They are beginning to see themselves as individuals, with the right to earn a salary and spend it on their own needs; to make careers for themselves in the police, broadcasting, in industry or agriculture; to teach and learn domestic virtues.

Teachers, nurses, welfare workers and university graduates are among the most advanced women, but there are many who have proved their competence to hold responsible posts in shops and offices and in industry, as well as in organizations such as the police and broadcasting. These women have learned the virtues of hastening slowly; they realize that in a society dominated for centuries by males their success may be vitally affected if they build up resentments and resistance.

But with the understanding and assistance of their menfolk they foresee a bright future for themselves and their sisters.



IN Salisbury’s Harari Township there are 48 hostels similar to the one above, as well as thousands of small houses provided at low rentals for the benefit of workers employed in the city. “Council housing”, as it would be called in Britain, has been established on a vast scale, not only in Salisbury, but by all the major municipalities through­out the country, and also by the Government, the larger statutory bodies the big mining groups and a number of major industrial concerns. These town­ships are equipped with all the amenities, including shops, banks, Government offices, schools, hospitals, clinics, churches and places of entertainment. Some of the finest sporting and recreational facilities in Rhodesia are to be found in the African townships ­ swimming pools, sports stadia, cycle racing tracks, football fields and tennis courts.

For those who desire a more permanent stake than rented accommodation, schemes like the Kambazuma self help housing scheme have been introduced. For a small deposit, a prospective home-owner can take possession of a basic unit (as illustrated above) on the understanding that within two years of occupation he has two additional rooms built on to complete the house. Monthly instalments, inclusive of rates, water and water-borne sewerage, are modest, and enable the occu­pant to obtain title to the property over 25 years.

The more prosperous may prefer to obtain title to a property in an area such as Marimba Park where some of the luxury homes are in the £15 000 to £20 000 class. Illustrated is the more modest, but nevertheless extremely comfortable home of an African businessman. Plots in this area are one or two acres in extent and sell at £105 per acre. Rates are basic, per plot, at £28 per annum. (1970 prices)



THE “gate” of 20 000, recorded at a 1968 cup final, testifies to the spectator appeal of soccer in Rhodesia. Star footballers are household names throughout the country, and the top teams competing in the various leagues have vast followings of supporters.

Other sports lag far behind in popularity, and only boxing attracts comparable crowds of African spectators. But the magnificent sporting amenities provided, particularly since the last war, by the municipalities and the large mining companies, have made it possible for more people than ever before to take part in sport as active participants.

Because of the warm climate, swimming pools were a priority; and although the adult generation in general (because of old beliefs related to mixed bathing) declined the invitation of sparkling blue waters, schoolchildren thought differently, and a generation is growing up which will make full use of the Olympic size swimming pools which have been built.

Athletics, fostered first by the mining companies and now given a keener edge by the National Sport Foundation, is producing a crop of athletes of international standard. Tennis, cycling, golf, squash and fencing, have their devotees.


Defending what has been achieved

The Matabele were a warrior race, the Mashona their vassals. Today, both help to defend their frontier in the far north of the country against the scourge of terrorism and the infiltration of an alien ideology. Rhodesia’s soldiers, efficient, supremely fit and highly trained, believe in what they are fighting for.




The above report demonstrates a practical and down to earth approach by Rhodesia to the advancement of African welfare based on sound administration and the experience of those who spent a lifetime living with the African and who expected their children to do so in the future. 

This may be compared with those in Europe and North America who, at the time and subsequently, have thrown vast sums at Africa with, in many cases, little discernible benefit other than maybe to salve the consciences of the giving nations.  Despite massive aid, the standard of living of the average African in very many countries has declined in the decades since the demise of Rhodesia – not least in the case of Zimbabwe itself!  – CW