Rhodesia or Zimbabwe: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Rhodesia or Zimbabwe, history and Solomon, segregation, names of the nation, government.



It is said that Rhodesia was the ancient land of Ophir and the site of King Solomon's mines. Whether or not this is true, her mines have brought riches to more than one King or adventurer. One of them gave his name to the country. Cecil Rhodes, the giver of scholarships to British and American boys and the organizer of the British South Africa Company, by wile, purchase, and conquest extracted the land from the Mashona and Matabele tribes and brought in British settlers to people it. Not since the sale of Manhattan have natives been bilked out of such valuable real estate.

In 1964 Britain granted full independence to the 2 northern territories of the former federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, but withheld it from (southern) Rhodesia until blacks were represented in the Government. Rather than lose control to the vast majority, the white Rhodesian Government declared itself independent from Britain. Despite worldwide sanctions, Rhodesians voted for a constitutional republic perpetuating white rule. Eligible to vote in that election: 82,583 whites; 6,634 blacks.

Until recently, it was quite common to see signs such as the following in parks and public places: "Cyclists, dogs and Africans not allowed." Today Rhodesia is still an absolutely racially segregated state.

The African nationalist name for the country is Zimbabwe. There are 3 different African parties which have been engaging in guerrilla warfare against the Rhodesian armed forces in the Zambezi valley.

Your Servant & You, a government publication addressed to the housewife, says as much about the Rhodesian view of women as of black Africans: "The African has dignity. Do not allow your small children to give cheeky orders to a grown-up, or to speak or act rudely to him....His women are his inferiors, and it is asking for trouble for a woman to scold a native loudly or, above all, to strike him. . . . Be as modest before him as before any man of your own race. Respect his ideas about women. You may think him a savage--and in many cases his moral outlook has little in common with ours--but he never allows even a small native girl to appear naked before a man or boy, so your little girl should not do this. . . you must never leave your daughter with an African male, nor allow her to wander alone in sparsely populated areas. Make your own beds, wash your own underclothing, and do not expect your houseboy to wash stained linen. It outrages his sense of what is proper."

Fifty percent of the population is less than 16 years old.

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