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Named after its impressive stone structures ‘Great Zimbabwe’ included vast areas of southern Africa occupied by various tribes and peoples collectively known as the Bantu. This period lasted from around 800-1500AD and saw a golden era of trade, agriculture and mining but little is known about this time as the Bantu people did not have an approach to recording things down. 

From the 1500s Europeans began making contact with southern Africa and by the early 1800s the Shona Empires had disintegrated and a powerful ruler called Shaka Zulu (1787-1828) had emerged with a kingdom in the area known as Natal. Due to disagreements, one of Shaka’s generals Mizilikazi broke away and established his own kingdom in the western area of Zimbabwe. However, by 1858, there had been further intrusion by European explorers and in 1893 Lobengula, Mizilikazi’s son, became the last of the Ndebele monarchy…

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