EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE
1896 NATIVE REBELLION / THE FIRST CHIMURENGA
A look at the history that led up to the start of the rebellion.
c1000 AD The Bantu people, the antecedents of the current indigenous inhabitants of Central and Southern Africa, who have been gradually moving southwards, generation by generation, cross the Zambesi river into what is now Zimbabwe, slowly displacing and assimilating the Bushmen or San people who inhabited the land for many thousands of years before.
1652 The first permanent European settlement is made in Capetown, and the slow but inexorable northward movement of the white man in Africa starts.
c1830 The AmaNdebele fall out with the Zulu king Tshaka in present day South Africa and flee northwards finally settling in the area of modern Bulawayo. They subjugate the indigenous inhabitants and come to control virtually all of what is now Zimbabwe.
1889 A concession is given by the AmaNdebele King Lobengula, to Cecil John Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSAC) to conduct certain mining operations in Mashonaland.
1893 Differences between the BSAC and Lobengula come to a head - Lobengula’s capital is destroyed and the BSAC takes control of the entire country. Most of the AmaNdebele warriors have not been defeated in battle, and they disperse and retire for the moment.
1895 The majority of the BSAC armed forces leave the country in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Transvaal government. Rhodesia is left virtually unguarded.
1896 March The AmaNdebele start rising, attacking and killing people in the more outlying areas of Matabeleland.