African Art Part 4: Zimbabwe

The name “Zimbabwe” is derived from two words from the Shona language dzimba’ (menaing ‘houses’) and ‘mabwe’ (meaning ‘stones’) and can be translated into English as ‘Big houses of stones’ or ‘honourable houses’. Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia (named after South African businessman Cecil Rhodes).

Zimbabweans artist produce some beautiful traditional paintings such as these two pieces below.
Zimbabwean artist also make the most lovely figurines of animals and birds from wire and glass beads. I have a rather large collection of these artworks and, when I hosted an Alice in Wonderland birthday party for my husband’s fortieth, I created a caucus race in our living room using these pieces. Here are a few of my pieces to astound you:

Pink flamingo and pelican

Ostrich and duck

Buffalo and spider
and my personal favourite….

 The King of the African Jungle – A Zimbabwean Tale

When one fine, sunny day the Lion felt rather strong and wanted to test his prowess. As he went about the African jungle with thick canopying trees, the Lion met the Monkey, stopped and asked him: “Who is the King of the jungle?” The Monkey bowed and answered “You Sire.”

Feeling proud and reassured, the Lion saw the Hyena and repeated the question to the Hyena who again confirmed that, indeed, the Lion was the King of the jungle.

The Lion then noticed the Elephant, two stories high. Resting under the shed of a Mopani tree, chewing cud. “Who is the King of the jungle?” the Lion briskly demanded of the Elephant. Before the Lion could finish asking the question, the Elephant swooped the Lion off its feet and threw it against the Mopani tree.

Before the Lion could shake his senses back, the Elephant picked him up again and beat him against a rock.

The Lion managed to extricate itself from the powerful grip of the Elephant’s trunk, stood at a distance and said: “No, no, no, you do not have to be so nasty and violent just because you do not know the answer.”

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town




37 thoughts on “African Art Part 4: Zimbabwe

  1. Hi Robbie. I love the elephant/lion story, a good reaction to arrogance. I went to Zim (then Rhodesia) in 1973 with my parents. We went to the Zimbabwe Ruins and Wanke National Park , Victoria Falls and Kariba Dam. A fantastic holiday by road in a 70’s combi!

    Liked by 1 person

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