Solomon Mutsvairo
Solomon Mutsvairo
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Born(1924-04-26)April 26, 1924
DiedNovember 11, 2005(2005-11-11) (aged 81)
EducationUniversity College of Fort Hare, Howard University
  • Novelist
  • Academic
Known forComposing the lyrics of the Zimbabwe national anthem
Notable workWriting the novel Feso
Parent(s)Elijah Mavhura Mutsvairo

Solomon Mutsvairo was a celebrated Zimbabwean novelist. He is known for writing Zimbabwe's current National Anthem. He is also known for writing the book Feso and poem Nehanda Nyakasikana (a favourite of the late vice president, Simon Muzenda.)[1] Mutsvairo died in November 2005.


Mutsvairo was born on April 26, 1924 in Zawu Village, Mazoe District.[2]

Education Background

Having received part of his education at Howard Institute, he furthered his studies at Adams College and the University College of Fort Hare in South Africa.[2] He went on to become a teacher at Goromonzi Secondary School before taking the post of headmaster of Sanyati Baptist Mission School in 1955. After leading teachers union in colonial Zimbabwe, Solomon was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the United States of America where he completed various masters programmes after which he was awarded a Doctorate by Howard University. Mustvairo was to return to Zimbabwe in 1981.

A teacher was Thompson Kumbirai Tsodzo.


Solomon had a distinguished career that was decorated by well-written novels such as Feso which was published in 1956. The novel gained prominence for how it criticised the colonial system. Eventually the novel was banned by the Rhodesian government but the book still remained an influential piece among nationalists.[2] The English version of the same novel was later published in 1974. Following up on his earlier succesess with Feso, Mutsvairo published Mapondera: Soldier of Zimbabwe in 1978. The novel celebrated the efforts of Chief Mapondera in resisting advances of the colonial regime. Mutsvairo was also the Chairman of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe during the late 1990s.[3]


  • Feso:1956
  • Murambiwa Goredema: 1959
  • Madetembedzo Akare naMatsva: 1959
  • Ambuyamuderere: 1967
  • Mapondera: Soldier of Zimbabwe: 1978
  • Chaminuka: Prophet of Zimbabwe: 1982



Mustvairo remains one of the shining beacons of Zimbabwe's struggle with colonialism. The publication of Feso displayed an awareness of the evils of colonialism which eventually led to its banning. The iconic poem, Nehanda Nyakasikana which was also contained in the same novel also challenged the colonial system. Mutsvairo passed on in 2005 and was deservedly declared a provincial hero.[4]


  • He was the first person to be named Writer-in-Residence at the University of Zimbabwe


  1. Mickias Musiyiwa The undying legacy of Solomon Mutsvairo, Mazwi, Published: No date given, Retrieved: July 29, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Solomon M. Mutswairo, Enyclopaedia Brittanica, Published: No date given, Retrieved: July 28, 2015
  3. Mutsvairo Biography, Poem Hunter, Published: No date given, Retrieved: July 29, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 Beaven Tapureta Mutsvairo: Quiet student who became guru, The Herald, Published: May 28, 2014, Retrieved: August 3, 2015