People

People

Zimbabweans are the most welcoming, generous and loving people. By and large you will be welcomed eagerly as a tourist.

More than two-thirds of the population speaks Shona as their first language. Shona-speaking people live mainly in the eastern two-thirds of the country, including the capital of Harare. Around one in five Zimbabweans speak Northern Ndebele, commonly known as Sindebele.

Both Shona and Sindebele are Bantu languages originating from the time when Bantu-speaking tribes populated the region over 1000 years ago. Other ethnic groups in the southeast, representing around one percent of the population each, are the Tonga in the Zambezi Valley, the Shangaan or Hlengwe in the Low Veld, and the Venda on the border with South Africa.

About two percent of the population is of non-African ethnic origin, mainly European and Asian.

Traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery and carving. Among the distinctive qualities are symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood. Shona sculpture in essence has been a fusion of African folklore with European influences.