Usher's Farm (Tshabalala)

Gwanda, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe Add to Map
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In 1883, after Lobengula had been appointed King, a European sailor, Fairburn Usher, having jumped his ship in Cape Town, arrived in Matabeleland. He became accepted by the people who gave him the name of Pondwene and later he married one of Lobengula's daughters and was given an extensive tract of land known as Tshabalala, on which to settle, by Lobengula.

Usher lived in traditional Ndebele style with his family on the banks of the Phekwe stream and evidence of this habitation can be found in the terraces made on the stream bank where Usher made a vegetable garden and in the remains of a stone wall that formed part of his cattle pens, alongside which is his grave.

During the Matabeleland Rebellion, many soldiers and some civilians fell in the area and were noted as buried at the farm.

In 1897 Usher's farm was purchased from him and incorporated in the Rhodes Estate and became part of what is still known as the Sauerdale Block, Sauer having negotiated the purchase of the farms involved on behalf of Rhodes.

Mr. Jock Brebner had arrived in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1902 to work on the Rhodes Estate Research station and, in 1905, after the death of Rhodes, he was asked by the administrators of the Estate to develop the Tshabalala Section on a lifelong lease, conforming with the proviso in Rhodes Will that the farms involved were to be developed for the instruction of the people of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

The lease given to Mr. Jock Brebner in 1905 expired in July 1978. Tshabalala was redesignated as a Game Park under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management.

  • Added: 22 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2454427