chapter  6
41 Pages

Un-inheriting Khami

The socio-cultural process
ByAshton Sinamai

This chapter presents Khami in the context of a colonial and postcolonial Zimbabwe. It shows how the cultural landscape was reduced from a cultural landscape to just 'a site' through various policies on land, heritage and management, as well as changes in identity among the people that could have valorised it. The silencing of Khami in the national consciousness was primarily a political process that soon began after its ransacking by the Rozvi in the 1690s. These processes required active forgetting of the landscape as a way of legitimising present power. The resulting distortion of histories in Matabeleland and Zimbabwe makes Khami peripheral to both the Ndebele and the Shona with ancestral connections to the landscape. Cultural heritage is open to appropriation by any sectional interests within and without the defined territory and cultural boundary. The cultural landscape around Khami was created through several interventions to the environment from the time of occupation.