Hlengwe Memories of the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle, 1975 - 1979

Keywords: Hlengwe, Karanga, memories, liberation struggle, ZANLA guerrillas, masses


The Hlengwe of the south - eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe are a minority group with a war history that remains largely unwritten. In Zimbabwe a lot has been written about the liberation struggle, covering the heroic acts and suffering of the Shona and Ndebele ethnic groups at the hands of colonial soldiers , but very little has been mentioned about minority groups such as the Hlengwe. Using oral evidence collected through interviews during the time of field research for my PhD thesis between 2014 and 2016, I analyse, in this article, memories of the Hlengwe about their participation in the struggle and their suffering at the hands of both the colonial soldiers and the liberation fighters or guerrillas. These memories reveal that the much - celebrated liberation struggle also had its “dark” side, which has been glossed over by most nationalistic scholars and patriotic historiography