Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1900-1933

Charles van Onselen


The book is out of print.


Chibaro was a term widely used in Southern Africa. Synonymous with contract, forced, or migrant labor, it became more specifically associated with the contract labor of the R.N.L.B. (Rhodesian Native Labour Board) and was by 1910 used by management and 'independent' black workers alike as a term of ridicule. The setting of Chibaro is the small-to-medium scale gold mining industry in land-locked Southern Rhodesia in its early years.


This is the best study of African labour history I have read. Charles van Onselen's account of the system of forced labour (Chibaro) to the Rhodesian mines is a powerful, meticulously documented and almost entirely persuasive work. - Robin Cohen, Review of African Political Economy


Professor Charles van Onselen is a researcher and historian, based at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.