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The Nambya people are an ethnic group of about 100,000 people, based in the north-west of Zimbabwe. They are clustered around the coal mining town of Hwange,[1] formally Wankie, named after a revered local chief called Hwange. They speak the Nambya language.

They are also the traditional inhabitants of the area around Hwange National Park, the second biggest national park in Africa after Kruger National Park in South Africa, which boasts the Big Five game. Hwange is a mere 100 km from the resort town of Victoria Falls in the far north west of Matebeleland North Province. The Nambya people are believed to have descended from the Shona. It is believed that the Nambya came from the Great Zimbabwe. After the fall of Great Zimbabwe, a subchief by the name Sahwanga left for present day Dete. Some went on to live in Bumbusi. This possibility is reinforced by stone structures that are similar to some in Great Zimbabwe. Notable Nambya figures include David Kwidini, Sansole, Percival Tshakaita, and Lovemore Zamani Ndlovu.

It is also believed that the Nambya are also part of the VaRozvi tribe.


  1. ^ Hasselbring, Sue; Segatlhe, Thabiso; Munch, Julie; Project, Basarwa Languages (2001-01-01). A sociolinguistic survey of the languages of Botswana. Tasalls. p. 6. ISBN 9789991293271.

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