Building friendships between Shona and Ndebele ethnic groups in Zimbabwe
MetadataShow full item record
Despite all the public pretences of projecting a united country, Zimbabwe is a divided country and this has made genuine peace and unity very difficult to attain. The bruised and polarised relationship between the Shona and Ndebele ethnic groups is deeply rooted in the annals of history, which makes it a protracted social conflict. The Gukurahundi campaign between 1982 and 1987 was part of a chain of catastrophic events, which have emanated from a well-established culture of violence and intolerance between Shona and Ndebele. Efforts to address this culture using a top-down approach under the auspices of the 22 December 1987 Unity Accord did little to curb hostilities. Even though these efforts were commendable, they were not sufficient to make any significant inroads into the polarised relationship of mistrust between the two groups. This thesis applied an Action Research design and specifically used the Transcend dialogue method to explore the possibilities of building mutual respect and understanding among a small sample of young Shona and Ndebele participants. The research found that creating intentional platforms for interaction could have a positive transformative effect on relationships. It is not too late to create more spaces and transformational platforms for people to dialogue, to listen to each other, to share stories, and carry out projects together. Engagement using dialogue can create new synergies, which can make a worthwhile difference to the long journey towards (re) building broken bridges and building new bridges.