Mabvuku

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Coordinates: 17°49′44″S 31°11′55″E / 17.82889°S 31.19861°E / -17.82889; 31.19861

Mabvuku
suburb, township, town
Scene at Kamunhu, one of the main shopping centers.
Scene at Kamunhu, one of the main shopping centers.
Nickname(s): bvakaz
Mabvuku is located in Zimbabwe
Mabvuku
Mabvuku
Coordinates: 17°53′24″S 31°8′51″E / 17.89000°S 31.14750°E / -17.89000; 31.14750
Town Mabvuku
Elevation 1,473 m (4,833 ft)
Time zone +2:00

Mabvuku is a high density suburb some 17 km east of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. It is classified as a suburb or township of Harare, with Harare City Council constituting local government. It encompasses in particular the townships that include Old Mabvuku and New Mabvuku, and more generally Old Tafara, and New Tafara (the latter two constituting Tafara properly speaking). Chizhanje is a former dormitory surbub of hostels very close to Old Mabvuku that is nominally part of Mabvuku.

Old Mabvuku dates back to the 1950s, with the oldest school in the suburb, Donnybrook Primary School dating back to 1954. New Mabvuku was built starting 1972 by the then Salisbury city council. Lately there have been expansions north and east via efforts by would be house owners through membership of housing cooperatives and voluntary contributions.

Etymology[edit]

The origins of the Word "Mabvuku" are not very certain. Possibly from the Shona "-bvuku"–, ideophone for emerging, to denote the water sprouting out of the numerous swamps around the area. Ma- (place of)+ -bvuku (emerging waters) is a plausible etymology.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Mabvuku
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
(78)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
23
(73)
21
(69)
21
(69)
23
(73)
26
(78)
28
(82)
28
(82)
26
(78)
24.8
(76.1)
Average low °C (°F) 15
(59)
15
(59)
14
(57)
12
(53)
8
(46)
6
(42)
5
(41)
7
(44)
10
(50)
13
(55)
15
(59)
15
(59)
11.3
(52)
Precipitation mm (inches) 213
(8.4)
160
(6.3)
91
(3.6)
38
(1.5)
8
(0.3)
3
(0.1)
3
(0.1)
3
(0.1)
8
(0.3)
36
(1.4)
99
(3.9)
180
(7)
842
(33)
Source: Weatherbase [1]

History[edit]

Mabvuku was the home of the VaShawasha people before colonisation. The Shawasha people of the Soko Mbire clan settled in this area c300years ago. Mabvuku as opposed to the present day site of Chishawasha is the native home of these people. The present site of Chishawasha village was given its prominence by the establishment of the oldest Catholic Mission Church there.

The ancestors of the Shawasha people are commemorated in the street and road names of Old Mabvuku, namely, Tingini, Godzonga, Marembo, Chauruka, Nyamare, Nyahuni, Chatezwi, Nzvere and Shambare. A. C. Hodza's compilation of the praise poetry of the Shona corroborates these facts.

Ethnicities[edit]

Mabvuku and Tafara have an unusually high concentration of people of Malawian, Mozambique and Zambian origin who migrated to seek work mostly before independence. They formed a vast pool of labour as domestics for the nearby suburbs of Highlands, Greendale, Msasa etc., with some working in the industrial area of Msasa and the nearby (1 km north) Portland cement factory. With expansion in numbers in recent years the people of Mabvuku have found some of them working as far afield as Willowvale and Workington (Harare) industrial areas to the west of Harare. In the seventies and eighties it was not unusual to see Nyau (Chigure) dancers, or Muganda extravaganza's owing to the high population of foreign origin. The concept of burial societies, originating in ethnic communities has had general adoption by the indigenous population owing to its benefits.

Religion[edit]

There is a lively religious scene in Mabvuku. A number of denominations have representaions including the Catholics, Anglicans, Z.A.O.G.A., Presybeterian, Wesleyans, Salvation Army, Seventh-day Adventists, AFM, Methodists, the various Apostolic groups (Va-Apostora) among others. Attendance is typically very high at the Catholic Church in Old Mabvuku, with two packed services on Sunday morning.

Education[edit]

There are three high schools in Mabvuku, viz. Mabvuku High School which teaches subjects up the A level, Tafara High School 1 and Tafara High School 2 both of which teach subjects up to 'O' Level. The following primary schools serve Mabvuku: Donnybrook Primary, Mabvuku Primary, Batanai Primary, Simudzai Primary and Tsinhirano Primary School. All the schools in Mabvuku are government schools, drawing students from Mabvuku, Tafara and Chizhanje areas.

Entertainment[edit]

Night scene[edit]

The Hunter bar, and Murozvi (Machembere) bar, Manresa Bar, the Red Bull, Gathers are some of the bars that have iconic status in the community, frequented as they are by a large number of patrons. They do not generally feature diners, but there are a variety of private sector players who sell food outside the bars that may include chicken, roast groundnuts, maize (corn) and so on. Hired live bands periodically entertain patrons.

Besides the traditional bars (above), there are also a few drinking spots that have emerged in recent years. Unlike the above bars which are popular with the old (machembere) generation and opaque beer (masese), these new places mostly seem to attract young people. Young people regard it as trendy when they are seen at the bottle store rather than the "old" bars. Chamhembe,Jeremiah and Cheers are some of the popular bottle stores that you'll find or hear about in Mabvuku.

Sports and recreation[edit]

Mabvuku is home to many budding and former sports persons in Zimbabwe. Many people spend time watching or engaging in sporting activities for their livelihood or pleasure. There are a number of sporting activities and groupings in Mabvuku and its surrounding areas. These range from a semi-professional soccer club sponsored by Circle Cement to social clubs commonly referred to as “maBoozers” because they drink and play soccer at the same time. A few sporting facilities are maintained by the Harare City Council at the “Number One” grounds officially called Mabvuku Sports Centre. These include soccer, cricket, rugby fields, tennis and basketball courts. Schools also run intra and inter-school sports competitions throughout the year.

In recent years the gentlemen's game has been budding after the donation of cricket nets and training kits by Circle cement(now Larfage) in collaboration with the zim cricket. This had resulted in the appearance of some of its young players in the domestic supreme league and Zimbabwe U19 such as Garry Chirimuta, Ronnie mutopopo Memorable sports personalities hailing from Mabvuku include Brenna Msiska, Wilfred Mugeyi (Silver Fox), William Mugeyi (Golden Fox), Joe Mugabe(Kode), Billiard Cheche, Usman Misi, Hilton Toro, Albert Mabika(Dhalala)[Clever Muzuwa](cyprian Farai Tsaha)... etc.

Economy and social fabric[edit]

Industry[edit]

The main heavy industry in the township is/was cement production, represented by Circle Cement (formerly Portland Cement), a company a few miles out of the town. Many people in the town are employed in the government service, either working as teachers, or for the city council. however the informal sector has come to dominate over the past decade and the country's economy has continued to deteriorate and government jobs become scarce and not so lucrative.

Effects of economic decline[edit]

The Mabvuku-Tafara towns have been seriously affected by the decline of the economy which have compromised the Harare City Council's ability to provide services to this outlying towns. The residents have suffered through water and power cuts, acknowledged to be the worst scenario in the all of Harare.[2][3] Cases of cholera, blamed on the relentless water cuts, he been recorded across the Mabvuku-Tafara area.[4]

In recent years the way of life and communalism has rapidly deteriorated in all over Mabvuku and Tafara areas. This is mainly due to poor maintenance of infrastructure by the city councils, as well as misuse of funds by government representatives. Basic services such as water supply, roads, community centres, sanitation and transport are rapidly going down if not non-existent any more. The main purpose for these townships was to provide low-cost housing for general manpower employed in the Greendale, Masasa, Highlands and Portland suburbs and industries but, the rapid collapse in industries from the early nineties has seen a lot of people losing their jobs and getting redundant resulting in poor or no household incomes. The result has been a lot of home-grown small businesses ranging from vegetable stalls, small barber shops, hair salons and even home-made furniture from those who used to work in furniture factories. One common aspect about this economic survival is that none of it is surveyed and planned by the local councils. As a result, in recent years, these stalls and shops have been demolished by government agencies. Crime rate has been soaring every year and disease and pandemics often break out. HIV awareness and preventive measures are getting scarce due to the exit of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who promoted and financed these programmes in various communities, hospitals and clinics. Overall, like in most parts of Zimbabwe, life in Mabvuku has declined rapidly in the previous two decades.

Service delivery[edit]

The failure has impacted the town severely. Reports indicate that the residents have gone without water, electricity or sewerage for seven months, as of March 2007.[5]

Notable people[edit]

  • Zacharia - (1980s)
  • John Pengaz (1980s) - From Old Mabvuku
  • Jah Nico (1980s-present)
  • John Bhuru (1990-present) from Old Mabvuku
  • Scotty Chihota (1980s-present) from Old Mabvuku

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Mabvuku, Zimbabwe". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  2. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200801180764.html
  3. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/200801310733.html
  4. ^ "Africa | Harare in water shortage crisis". BBC News. 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  5. ^ Cheeseman, Rona. "Raw Sewage Flows In The Street". The Zimbabwean. Retrieved 2013-09-22.