Celts among the Shona

The Carmelite Order first arrived in Zimbabwe in 1946 when three Irish Carmelites undertook the long and slow journey to Africa. The articles below record some of their experiences from 1946 to 1966 and were originally published in various in-house periodicals and journals of the Carmelite Order. They have recently been brought together, along with several more articles, into one volume – “Celts among the Shona” – and are now published here with permission. The articles relate the early people-to-people and people-to-environment experiences in Zimbabwe in a very frank, refreshing and often humorous manner.



The articles were written before 1980 when political independence was achieved in Zimbabwe. To put them in context and assist the reader, colonial placenames have been updated to their post-independence usage, for example, Zimbabwe for Rhodesia, Harare for Salisbury, Gwero for Gwelo, Mutare for Umtali, Masvingo for Fort Victoria, Chimanimani for Melsetter. This collection was edited by M. Hender, O.Carm., who has been a missionary priest in Zimbabwe since 1970.