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Chivhu is located in Zimbabwe
Coordinates: 19°01′10.61″S 30°53′50.16″E / 19.0196139°S 30.8972667°E / -19.0196139; 30.8972667
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)

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 1982, on the second anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence. The current name comes from the Shona language and means "anthill".[1]


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'.[2]


Chivhu has an agricultural economy, based in poultry farming and dairy cattle. Beef, pork, maize and millet are also important produce. As more white farmers were expelled from Zimbabwe by the Mugabe government, this once lively agricultural economy has become more endangered.

Famous people[edit]

Chivhu/Enkeldoorn is famous for producing cricketers Dirk Viljoen and Gavin Ewing. It is also the ancestral hometown of Andy Blignaut,[3] and Mathias Kanda, a Zimbabwean track athlete who competed in the 1964 Summer Olympic men's marathon. The controversial Grace Mugabe grew up in Chivhu too.[4]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ The Reluctant President: The Memoirs of the Hon. Clifford DuPont, GCLM., ID., Books of Rhodesia, 1978, pages 73–75
  3. ^ Andy Blignaut - a short biography, ESPN cricinfo, 27 October 1999
  4. ^ "Grace Mugabe - Bio, Parents, Sons, Divorce, Where is She Now?". AnswersAfrica. Retrieved 6 September 2018.

Coordinates: 19°00′S 30°09′E / 19.000°S 30.150°E / -19.000; 30.150