Walking a Tightrope

Towards a Social History of the Coloured People of Zimbabwe

James Muzondidya


Book not available in Zimbabwe


This book examines the history of the Coloured or “mixed race” community of Zimbabwe, a group that has not only been marginalized in most general political and academic discourses but whose history has also been subject to popular misconceptions. The book focuses mainly on the process of identity formation among members of the community and the development of political ideologies and strategies within the same community. Challenging conventional wisdom on race and ethnic identities, this book argues that understanding the process of identity formation among members of the Coloured community requires transcending essentialism and constructivism.


Walking a Tightrope, Muzondidya writes an impressive social history of how Coloured identity has been constructed and understood, challenging the conventional fixity of ethnicity and race in Zimbabwe as biologically determined through the act of miscegenation, and imposed as a category by the colonial State. - Sarah Bracking, Review of African Political Economy


James Muzondidya teaches southern African history at the University of Zimbabwe. His research interests are in minority rights and cultures and identity politics in the postcolonial African state.