"What's all this chimurenga business, sergeant?"
Ndebele Pursuit, 1896
Public DomainNdebele Pursuit, 1896 - Credit: Frank Dadd

The original Chimurenga (Shona for "revolutionary struggle) of 1896 started as an Ndebele (Matabele) rebellion against the British pioneers who had trekked up from South Africa and established the town of Bulawayo.  The Ndebele were soon joined by the Shona, occupying colonial fortifications and massacring settlers.  They laid siege to Bulawayo, although it was never taken.

The main Chimurenga, known to British historians as the Second Matabele War, ended more than a year later when the Ndebele spiritual leader Mlimo was assassinated.  War continued in Mashonaland for another year.

Matabele Warrior
Public DomainMatabele Warrior - Credit: Robert Baden-Powell

 The Matabele Campaign 1896 by Colonel Robert Baden-Powell (full book online)