Reconcilliation in Zimbabwe: the contribution of the feminine in Shona culture
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The aim of this paper is to tell the story of how the newly elected government of Zimbabwe, at the time of independence in 1980, after an eight year long brutal liberation war in which 20 000 people lost their lives and following 90 years of oppressive white minority rule, declared a policy of reconciliation and created a unified state in that country. In recounting this remarkable series of events an analysis will be made of the cultural foundations that empowered the black people of Zimbabwe to transform the violence of the war and the colonial regime into a situation of peaceful co-existence, where not only black and white people live peacefully side by side, but also tribal differences have been largely resolved. The paper will firstly outline the main features of the oppression which blacks suffered in their own country during the colonial period, and:then events immediately following the election of a majority government in 1980 will be revealed, in stark contrast to what occurred before. Various perspectives on the basis for the reconciliation policy will be considered and then the suggestion that particular aspects of Shona culture made a major contribution to reconciliation will be explored.