Street Names – Bulawayo Edition
- January 28, 2021
- Posted by: Vambo Academy
- Category: Zimbabwe
Bulawayo was founded by King Lobengula, the son of Mzilikazi kaMatshobane. The word Bulawayo comes from the Ndebele word bulala which means to kill. At the time Lobengula was a Prince fighting to ascend the throne of his father and it was common for people to refer to the place as koBulawayo Umntwanenkosi (the place where they are fighting the Prince). Mbiko kaMadlenya Masuku a close confidant of King Mzilikazi is the one who fought the Prince because he believed that he was not worthy to rule the Ndebele people as he was born to a Swazi mother, Fulatha Tshabalala. Masuku believed that she was of lesser class and thus Lobengula was not royalty.
Bulawayo received its city status in 1943. The CBD has the widest roads. It has 17 avenues and 11 streets. The city is nicknamed koNtuthu Ziyathunqa, the City of Kings, koMfazi utshaya indoda, Skyz or Bluez.
From the east is a street called Samuel Parirenyatwa formerly Barrow Street, named after Dr Parirenyatwa.
Second Street is Josiah Tongogara who was a key figure in the Umvukela wars among others.
Third Street is called Robert Mugabe Way after the late former president R. G. Mugabe.
George Silundika Street was named after a prominent Zimbabwean nationalist.
It is closely followed by Fife Street which was named after an aristocratic ally of Rhodes, the Duke of Fife who was the son in law of the Prince of Wales and a politically affluent man who helped Rhodes to get a charter that allowed him to use his company to colonise Zimbabwe.
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo follows thereafter which has a large statue of him that was officially unveiled in 2013.
There is also Lobengula Street which was duly named after the Matabele king Lobengula.
There is an avenue called Selbourne Avenue which was changed to Leopold Takawira Avenue a name of an eminent Zimbabwean revolutionary who died in Salisbury’s Maximum Prison in 1970. Lord Selbourne was at one point the British High Commissioner to South Africa. There is also Connaught Avenue which is named after one of Cecil John Rhodes colonial colleagues who sat on the BSAC board. The avenues found in the city are numbered numerically from First to Fifteenth Avenue.