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For a thousand years, Zimbabwe has been a major route for migration and trade.1

Cecil Rhodes had arrived in South Africa in 1870 when he was 17 years old, having been sent by his family with a view to supporting his health. At 18 years of age, he entered the diamond industry in Kimberley, South Africa, and, twenty years later, Rhodes all but dominated that industry.2 He formed the British South Africa Company, BSAC, to exploit the mineral wealth of the region with British government backing, and in 1889, obtained a royal charter modeled on that of the East India Company.3 The Rhodes business enterprise expanded and subsumed more and more territory.

In 1895 the BSCA adopted the name Rhodesia. In 1898, southern Rhodesia designated the portion of the expanding territory south of the Zambezi River.{efn_note]present day Zambia comprised northwestern, and Malawi comprised northeastern, Rhodesia[/efn_note] Southern Rhodesia was annexed by the United Kingdom in 1923 and became a self-governing British colony.4 With the independence of Zambia, southern Rhodesia became known as, simply, Rhodesia.

Robert Mugabe was elected prime minister in 1980. following the reformations that ended white minority rule and then president from 1987 until his resignation in 2017.


  1. Zimbabwe, wikipedia
  2. Cecil Rhodes, wikipedia
  3. British South Africa Company, wikipedia
  4. Zimbabwe, wikipedia