Becoming Zimbabwe or Becoming Zimbabwean: Identity, Nationalism and State-building

Alois S. Mlambo


This lecture explores the processes of identity-making and state-building in a multi-ethnic and multiracial society recently emerging from a protracted armed struggle against racially ordered, settler-colonial domination. It explores the extent to which historical factors, such as the nature of the state, the prevailing national political economy, and regional and international forces and developments have shaped notions of belonging and citizenship over time and have affected state-building efforts. The role of the postcolonial state and economy, political developments and the land question in shaping the postcolonial dispensation is also examined. The lecture argues that, like most African states created by colonialism, Zimbabwe is not yet a nation and that it is only in the process of becoming. It also comments on the role of historians in shaping notions of nationhood and identity.

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