Dr Gerald Chikozho Mazarire

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Assistant Professor of African History

I am a historian of Southern Africa with a special interest in various forms of African orality as they are expressed by different communities in rendering their experiences over time and space. I work mainly on Zimbabwe where I have used predominantly oral methods to trace ‘pre-colonial’ identities, nationalism, liberation memories and land restitution struggles.


  • DPhil (University of Zimbabwe)
  • MA (University of Zimbabwe)
  • BA Hons (University of Zimbabwe)


I obtained my doctorate at the University of Zimbabwe in 2010 where I taught for several years before moving to the Midlands State University in Gweru and Zvishavane in the same country in 2012. In 2019 I was appointed to the National University of Lesotho, Roma and between 2021 and 2022 I taught at the University of Eswatini, Kwaluseni.

I am a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (African Humanities Program) and have also held various Research Fellowships at the University of Edinburgh (2007) and the University of Stellenbosch (2012-14). In 2017 I was the Inaugural Fellow of the Oxford-Africa Initiative at St Peters College, Oxford.


Optional Modules for Second and Final Year Undergraduates

  • Gender and Colonialism in African History
  • Atlantic Slavery: West Africa and the Caribbean
  • Anti-Colonial, Post-Colonial, Decolonial

First Year Undergraduate Modules

  • Introduction to African Politics
  • History of Africa and Its Diaspora

Postgraduate Modules

  • Research Skills and Methods in African Studies

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to assist with any interests in Zimbabwe, methods and methodologies relating to African oral histories and traditions, national and international experiences of decolonisation including armed struggle and liberation politics in Southern Africa as well as land.


My research interests stretch across themes and timelines from ‘pre-colonial’ communities to liberation movements in Central and Southern Africa. My work on Zimbabwe is the result of years spent collecting oral traditions and oral literature among communities that typically identify as ‘Shona’ but draw upon rich histories of interaction with various other identities over time. I am in the process of completing a monograph that synthesises these experiences prior to Zimbabwe’s colonial encounter and this drives my current investigations into cases of territoriality and land restitution in modern Zimbabwe based on so-called ‘pre-colonial’ claims and validations.

I have also collaborated with various organisations to collect, archive and digitise oral histories and records of Zimbabwe’s war of independence. Some of the projects I have led and coordinated include the Aluka/JSTOR ‘Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa’ and the ‘SADC Secretariat Hashim Mbita Project’ on the Liberation History of Southern Africa. From these collections I have focused on the international networks of the liberation movements and the life of common soldiers in guerilla training camps of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.

Other activities

I am a Senior Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia on African History

I am an Editor of Critical African Studies

 I am Editorial Board Member of Kronos: Southern African Histories.

I am an Advisory Board member of the Journal of Southern African Studies and one of the coordinators of its ‘Emerging Scholars in Southern Africa Workshops’ and ‘De-Colonisation’ Working Groups.

I am a Board Member of the Culture Fund Trust, Zimbabwe, and a Founding Trustee of the Zimbabwe Oral History Trust


Recent publications


Mazarire, G & Bhebe, NM 2019, Zimbabwe's War of Liberation. vol. 5, Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es salaam.


Mazarire, GC 2017, 'ZANU’s external networks 1963–1979: An appraisal', Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 83-106. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2017.1281040

Mazarire, GC 2016, 'The burrowed earth: rodents in Zimbabwe’s environmental history', Critical African Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 109-135. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681392.2016.1242235

Mazarire, GC 2015, 'Doing Zimbabwean History with Terence Ranger: A Personal Note', Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 1115-1122. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1083279

Mazarire, GC & Swart, S 2014, ''The pots on our roads': The diaspora fleet and harare's urban commuter system', African Diaspora, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1163/18725465-00701004

Mazarire, GC 2013, 'Carl Mauch and some karanga chiefs around great zimbabwe 1871-1872: Re-considering the evidence', South African Historical Journal, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 337-364. https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2013.768290

Mazarire, G 2013, 'The gadzingo: towards a Karanga expansion matrix in 18th- and 19th-century southern Zimbabwe', Critical African Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 4-16. <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/21681392.2013.775623?needAccess=true>

Mazarire, GC 2011, 'Discipline and punishment in ZANLA: 1964-1979', Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 571-591. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2011.602896

Mazarire, GC 2008, ''The chishanga waters have their owners': Water politics and development in Southern Zimbabwe', Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 757-784. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070802456748


Mazarire, G 2014, Paying the ultimate price: Zimbabwe and the liberation of South Africa, 1980 - 1994. in The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 5, African Solidarity. UNISA, University of South Africa.

Mazarire, G 2013, ZANU PF and the Government of National Unity. in B Raftopoulos (ed.), The Hard Road To Reform: The Politics of Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement. African Books Collective. <https://www.africanbookscollective.com/books/the-hard-road-to-reform>

Mazarire, G 2010, Rescuing Zimbabwe's 'Other' Liberation War Archives. in C Saunders (ed.), DOCUMENTING LIBERATION STRUGGLES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. Nordic Africa Institute.

Mazarire, GC 2009, Reflections on pre-colonial Zimbabwe, c. 850-1880s. in Becoming Zimbabwe. A History from the Pre-colonial Period to 2008. African Books Collective, pp. 1-38.

Book/Film/Article review

Mazarire, G 2022, 'Biography and History in Zimbabwe - The Army and Politics in Zimbabwe: Mujuru the Liberation Fighter and Kingmaker By Blessing-Miles Tendi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. Pp. 348. $120.00, hardcover (ISBN: 9781108472890); $32.99, paperback (ISBN: 9781108460729); $26.00, e-book (ISBN: 9781108585767)', Journal of African History, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 264-267. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853722000366


Helliker, K (Guest ed.) & Mazarire, G (Guest ed.) 2021, 'Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe: Crisis? What Crisis?', Journal of Asian and African Studies, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 171-175. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021909620986583

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