by Mary Ferreira
3 December 2012 – After much flying time, we arrived in Zimbabwe to film a story on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
As part of the story, a workshop sponsored by UNDP, held in the town of Masvingo some 180 miles from Harare, was also covered. A group of 34 women and men who attended the workshop were fortunate to visit the ruins located minutes from the conference site.
The ruins of Great Zimbabwe represent a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization and the Shona people between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city was built from granite stones, layered to form walls within which huts were erected to house the city’s occupants. It’s important to note that no cement was used in the construction of the city and the stones were fitted strategically to allow air to penetrate the walls, cooling the entire city. UNESCO recognized these ruins as a cultural heritage site in 1986.
It’s been said that the King ruling the city had multiple wives who resided on the opposite side of the walled city. At night he would go to the edge of the mountain and call the name of one of his wives. The chosen wife would respond by cackling, then travel by foot to spend the night with the King.
Here’s a short clip of the ruins including a cultural performance by Shona women and men.