Masotsha Ndlovu (1890-1982) was a black labour union leader in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He was active in the country's section of the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union (ICU). He was a member of the 1980 Senate.

Personal Details

Born" 1890 at Saba village in the Thekwane area of Matabeleland.
He was the first child of Nthoyiwa Ndlovu and his second wife, Bantema.
Died: 1 July 1982.

School / Education

Ndlovu spent his teens alternating between working in the fields, hunting and herding cattle. He worked in Bulawayo from 1910 as a messenger, before moving to South Africa to improve his education. He settled in Cape Town where he worked and studied. He passed his standard six and proceeded to do an English course at matriculation level with the International Correspondence College. In South Africa he was exposed to the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the ICU, as well as the ideas of Marcus Garvey.

Service / Career

In 1927, the ICU was founded in Southern Rhodesia, and in 1928, Ndlovu became one of its leaders in Bulawayo, serving as its secretary-general. The union faced repression, and Ndlovu was jailed in 1933. Following his release, he cut all ties to the union. In the 1940s, he again was involved with unions, working with Benjamin Burombo of the African Workers Voice Association, and the nationalist Southern Rhodesia African National Congress. He was repeatedly jailed/interned from 1959 to 1971. His family was supported by the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) in the 1970s. He identified with ZAPU in the transition to Zimbabwe and the first all-race national elections.
He died in 1982, was named a national hero. He was buried at National Heroes Acre (Zimbabwe) in Harare, and has several roads named in his honour. [1]


  1. [1], People Pill, Accessed: 28 May, 2020