Discussion Group: What is Shona? Investigating a Language

This week's Discussion Group session was part philosophical musings, part critical reflections, a tracking and tracing of how a mega colonial language that did not exist before 1929 was created over 90 years ago to subdue various groups of people in the territory that is now Zimbabwe. What is the Shona linguistic experiment that resulted in the creation of one of the two major languages that have been used as an identifier of Zimbabweanness from the early 20th century onwards?


Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a Junior Research Fellow in African and Comparative Literature at OCCT, St Anne’s College, Oxford.