Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Great Zimbabwe


Letter 'Z'

Although this is a little 'versical' history, I have a personal memory to impart! I visited Great Zimbabwe as a tourist in mid-winter forty years ago and, in the middle of the night, in the rather primitive hotel, my hot-water-bottle burst! As the sodden bed grew colder and colder all thoughts of history went out of my mind!


Zimbabwe? It's surely a country or state?
Why should a ruin be known as 'Great'?
What's the significance of this
Strange, unusual edifice?
First the means, they say,
'Large Building' said the Shona way.
These ruins are ancient; a thousand years old,
But no-one's sure what they used to hold.
Thousands of Africans may have existed
Within these walls, now heritage listed.
What we see is only the heart
Of extensive buildings, a tiny part,
For Great Zimbabwe at one time covered
Hundreds of miles, as they've now discovered.
Between the Limpopo and Zambezi
Finding gold was very easy,
So the founders of Great Zimbabwe, for sure,
Were very rich, with gold in store.
The Europeans, when they arrived,
Doubted that Africans had contrived
To build such a solid monument;
They said Africans were too indolent.
'Surely' they said 'Only men of our race
Could have built such a very important place!'
But, as has been proved by carbon dating,
Zimbabwe is old, as some had been stating.
Africans certainly were the creators.
(No wonder some are White Man haters!)
When old 'Rhodesia' at last became free
The Africans thought what its name could be
And 'Zimbabwe!' they shouted with one voice,
It was nearly everybody's choice.

More African memories here:

See tomorrow's blog for advice from a Domestic Goddess.


Roger Owen Green said...

Very interesting post. I'm fascinated by the various history of African countries.

Sylvia K said...

Great post and marvelous words as always, Brenda! How interesting to visit there! I would love that! Have a good week!


Mara said...

Ooh, a sodden bed, yikes. I can imagine you wouldn't be thinking about the history anymore!

How to tell the manager though...

Beverley Baird said...

What a great Z post! What memories we keep! Hope the rest of your trip was memorable as well!

photowannabe said...

A soggy bed isn't the most wonderful souvenier but it is quite a memory. Very interesting post . I love all the things I learn from ABC Wed.

Hildred said...

Wonderfully informative post - I am amazed at how much I learn on this meme. Eeek to your soggy bed!

Rose said...

A wet bed on a cold night doesn't sound very comfortable! Thanks for a fascinating post--so many African countries have such a rich cultural history that most of us never learn about. Always a pleasure to read your poetry, Brenda!

Gena @ thinking aloud said...

Ah this is lovely Brenda - I do not know Zimbabwe at all, sadly!!!
thx for sharing!
Gena @ thinking aloud

jay said...

I know very little about Zimbabwe, except that it used to be Rhodesia. I only know that because one of my uncles lived there for a while!

Kim, USA said...

Again very informative post..thanks for sharing!


Tumblewords: said...

A lot of history in this fun read! I remember when the name was changed and found it a very good choice! Nice work! As always.