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Chivhu (called Enkeldoorn until 1982) is a small town in Zimbabwe, with an estimated population of 10,000 in 2007. It is located 146 km (91 mi) south of Harare on the main road south to Masvingo and South Africa.
Enkeldoorn, Chivhu's original name, is an Afrikaans name meaning "lone thorn". It refers to the tree acacia robusta and implies that a single specimen once grew there. The name was adopted in 1891 but was changed to Chivhu in 1980 when Zimbabwe became independent. The current name comes from the Shona language and means "anthill".
Enkeldoorn was founded by Afrikaans-speaking Boer farmers and settlers in around 1850, and was the first white settlement in Zimbabwe. It became an Afrikaner stronghold in a predominately English-speaking white Rhodesia, giving it the nickname of 'the Republic of Enkeldoorn'.
Chivhu has an agricultural economy, based in poultry farming and dairy cattle. Beef, pork, maize and millet are also important produce. As more and more white farmers are expelled from Zimbabwe by the Mugabe government, this once lively agricultural economy becomes more and more endangered.
Chivhu/Enkeldoorn is famous for producing cricketers Dirk Viljoen and Gavin Ewing. It is also the ancestral hometown of Andy Blignaut. The first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe was born in Chivhu in 1965.
- Room, Adam (2008). African Placenames: Origins and Meanings of the Names for Natural Features, Towns, Cities, Provinces, and Counties. McFarland & Company. p. 52. ISBN 9780786435463.
- The Reluctant President: The Memoirs of the Hon. Clifford DuPont, GCLM., ID., Books of Rhodesia, 1978, pages 73–75
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