Copy of autobiographical account by Kenneth Vundukayi Manyonda, of his trade union and political activities in Rhodesia between c1957-1970, particularly his association with United Textile Workers' Union of Rhodesia, the African Trades Union Congress, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZAPU).
MANYONDA, Kenneth Vundukayi (b.1934)
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 101 ICS 108
- Dates of Creationnd [c1975]
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description1 file
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Kenneth Vundukayi Manyonda was born in 1934 in Buhero, in Southern Rhodesia. After completing his education he worked in various jobs in the industrial and commercial sector. He became a member of the African National Congress of Rhodesia not long after its formation, and then joined the National Democratic Party after the banning of the ANC, becoming the local branch secretary of the NDP in Gwelo. After a short period working in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, Manyonda returned to Gwelo in 1962, where he was asked to become chairman of the Gwelo branch of ZAPU. Also at this time, Manyonda first became involved in trade union activity. He obtained a post as an accounts clerk for Charles W Hall Ltd., a hosiery manufacturing company, and when workers at the factory decided to form themselves into a branch of the Textile Workers' Union of Rhodesia, Manyonda was elected their chairman. At a national meeting in Gatooma, the Union's name was changed to the United Textile Workers Union of Rhodesia, and Manyonda was elected President.
Following the split in ZAPU and the formation of ZANU in 1963, Manyonda joined the latter organisation. He became vice-chairman of the Gwelo branch, and was increasingly involved in both political and trade union activities. In 1966 he was arrested and began what turned out to be over two years of detention. On his release in 1968, he found himself unemployable in industry. Instead, he obtained a full-time position with his union, first resigning his presidency which had continued during his detention. Manyonda organised the publication of a union newspaper, which led to his election as Publicity Secretary for the African Trades Union Congress. However, he then made the decision to leave Rhodesia, having obtained a British Government grant to study industrial relations in the UK. He arrived in Britain in 1970, with his two young sons, and wrote the autobiographical account while there.
At some date after the writing of this account, Manyonda returned to Rhodesia and ultimately became involved in the Government of the independent Zimbabwe, latterly holding the position of Provincial Governor of Manicaland.
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Photocopy of manuscript account
Created 15/11/2000, revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project, Aug 2001.
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