Coordinates: 19°49′48″S 28°09′36″E / 19.8300°S 28.1600°E / -19.8300; 28.1600


Map of Zimbabwe showing Matabeleland in red
Map of Zimbabwe showing Matabeleland in red
Vuka Mthwakazi
Map of Zimbabwe: Matabeleland is on the west
Map of Zimbabwe: Matabeleland is on the west
Coordinates: 17°50′S 31°3′E / 17.833°S 31.050°E / -17.833; 31.050
Founded byNdebele people
 • Total130,899 square kilometres (50,540 sq mi)

Matabeleland is a region located in southwestern Zimbabwe that is divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo,and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers and are further separated from Midlands by the Shangani River in central Zimbabwe. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people who were called 'Matabele' by British White Colonialists as they failed to pronounce 'Ma Ndebele'. Other ethnic groups who inhabit parts of Matabeleland include the Tonga, Bakalanga, Venda, Nambya, Khoisan, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, and Shangaan. The population of Matabeleland is just over 20% of the Zimbabwe's total.

The capital and largest city is Bulawayo, other notable towns are Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Beitbridge, Maphisa, Esigodini, Hwange and Gwanda. The land is particularly fertile but dry. This area has coal and gold deposits. Industries include gold and other mineral mines, and engineering. There has been a decline in the industries in this region as water is in short supply due to scarce rainfall. People of Matebeland believe they are significantly different from the rest of Zimbabwe, this has also led the rise of Matabeleland Political movements calling for self determination which will see Matabeleland become a self governing Country. Promises by the government to draw water for the region through the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project have not been carried out, continuing water shortages.[1]