Purposeful naming: The case of beer halls named during both the colonial Rhodesia era and present day Zimbabwe

  • S Nyota
  • N Mapara
  • DE Mutasa
Keywords: Naming, colonial Rhodesia, beer hall, Zimbabwe, indigenous, imbibers.


This article examines the reasons behind names given to beer halls from their inception in colonial Rhodesia to present day Zimbabwe. To achieve this goal, it analyses names of beer halls, beer outlets built in the former townships of colonial Rhodesia (now called high-density suburbs), and those built at growth points, a feature that emerged with Zimbabwe’s political independence. While it was fashionable in colonial Rhodesia to assume western names for people, landmarks and objects including the Anglicisation of the indigenous ones, the beer halls that were built in independent Zimbabwe have also been given indigenous names. The article concludes that the names given to beer halls in colonial Rhodesia, as those in independent Zimbabwe, are purposeful and informative since they entice imbibers. They also function as cautionary statements because they warn the same imbibers and would be drinkers. Both the old and new names seem to have a common feature between them, which is to expose the evils of commercialised beer.

KEYWORDS: Naming, colonial Rhodesia, beer hall, Zimbabwe, indigenous, imbibers.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1726-3700
print ISSN: 1012-1080