chapter  28
10 Pages

Heritage that hurts: the case of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes in the Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe Svinurayi Joseph Muringaniza

The will of Cecil John Rhodes was granted on 10 April 1902 when his body was interred on the massive dwala that forms the centre of what he named the ‘View of the World’ (see Figure 28.1).This chapter presents the current debate in Zimbabwe as to whether or not Rhodes’ grave should remain on the View of the World, a hill that is known locally as Malindidzimu and was, until its desecration in 1902 when Rhodes was buried there, sacred to the local people. Sangano Munhumutapa, a Harare-based pressure group comprised mainly of Shona-speaking youths, is calling for the removal of the grave from Malindidzimu and Rhodes’ bones to be either thrown into the Zambezi River or repatriated to the United Kingdom.The questions ‘why Rhodes’ and ‘why Matopos’ provide important insights into perceptions of cultural heritage in Zimbabwe today.