The Venda (baVenda) occupy a distinct linguistic position between Shona (Karanga) and Sotho. They lived in the current Matabeleland region until late C17, when most crossed the Limpopo into the current South Africa, NW Limpopo Province. During C19, many Venda crossed the Limpopo again to current Zimbabwe.


Venda Royal clans are connected to those of the southern Shona. In C19 they were noted as iron workers, and later gunsmiths. Also copper and specific pottery. They traded firearms to the Shona and some served as mercenaries in Shona wars. They are closely associated with the Mwari Cult centers of Matopos.


Post independence there was considerable discussion on whether Venda should be one of the Zimbabwean national languages.

Other Information

There are considerable pre-history studies of the Venda.

Further Reading



  1. [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  2. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"