The Land of the Matabele
During mid 19th Century, the Mfecane wars which broke out in the Zulu state south of the Limpopo river ushered in a massive northwards exodus of various polities. One major important group were the Khumalo people who ran away from the Tshaka wars and passed the Drankernsburg Mountains and eventually crossed the Limpopo river.
Along the way, the Khumalo people under Mzilikazi conquered and amalgamated other polities and tribes. These include the Tswana, Xhosa and Sotho polities which were incorporated by the Khumalo. As they crossed the Limpopo, the Khumalo further incorporated the Shona speaking subjects into their empire. It was during this period when they bacame to be known as the Matebele people.
They subsequently established their royal capital near present day Bulawayo. With the coming in of the Christian missionaries and Portuguese traders, the area was constantly referred to as the land of the Matabele, or simply Matabeleland. Colonial rule further engraved the notion of Matabeleland when it drew geographical boundaries between Matabeleland and Mashonaland.
Since its inception, Matabeleland region has been a home to people of various social and religious backgrounds. Most of them are however bound with the same language which was predominantly Ndebele. Other languages spoken in the Matabeleland region include Kalanga, Venda and Nambia.
Provinces in Matabeleland
It has seven districts which are as follows;Beitbridge, Bulilima, Gwanda, Insiza, Mangwe, Matopo and Umguza.
Matabeleland North province is home to the mighty Victoria Falls which is one of the world's natural wonders. The Victoria Falls is an all year round tourist resort which accommodates peoples from different parts of the world who visit to see the wonder. Hwange National Park is also found in Matabeleland. It is the country's biggest national park with dozens of different species of wildlife. Matopo Hills and Khami Ruins are also a world heritage sites administered by the department of National Museums and Monuments.