Video: Watch footage from Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980

On 21st November, Robert Mugabe stepped down as Zimbabwe’s leader after 37 years in power, prompting celebrations throughout the country.

In DG #29 Harriet Salem travelled the country to tell the story of Robert Mugabe’s rule, from the independence struggle in what was then Southern Rhodesia to the Matabeleland massacres, the eviction of white farmers, the hyperinflation of the 2000s, and his unpredictable final years. Salem spoke to Zimbabweans who said that Mugabe’s resignation felt like a second independence for the country.

At the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, there was much optimism in the country, and some fascinating footage from the period can be viewed online. We found this 1980 episode of the BBCs Newsnight, with Peter Snow presenting from Salisbury (now Harare), quite fascinating.

In our article, Harriet writes about an extraordinary event that happened when Bob Marley travelled to Zimbabwe to celebrate its independence. The Jamaican reggae superstar had written a song, ‘Zimbabwe’, to support ZANU’s revolutionary fighters. Here’s some footage from his April 1980 concert in Salisbury.

For the dramatic story of Robert Mugabe’s long reign and resignation, read ‘The bitter end’ in DG #29.

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