The Story of Rhodesia/Kingdom of Batua


The Kingdom of Butua (also spelled Butwa) was a kingdom in what is today South Western Zimbabwe. It emerged after the collapse of Great Zimbabwe[1] and was governed by the Togwa Dynasty until 1683, when it was conquered by the Rozwi Kingdom. It was first mentioned in Portuguese records as Butua in 1512.[2]

Great Zimbabwe and KhamiEdit

Khami was the capital of Butua, and its ruins are located 22 km west of Bulawayo. It is suggested that the Torwa were rebels of the Kingdom of Mutapa. Archeologists pointed out the Khami’s architecture was based on the architecture of Great Zimbabwe. However, there are some notable differences, for example: the type of stone used in Khami was harder to quarry than the type of stone used in Great Zimbabwe and formed shapeless stones, making it impossible to build dry walls, a feature of Great Zimbabwe.[3]

Trade with PortugalEdit

Apart from the architecture, Butua was also notable for its trade, and the 15th century was the age of discovery, and while Khami was being built the Portuguese succeeded in destroying the existing Arab-Swahili trade system and seizing the port of Sofala. Then, they started trading with kingdoms further inland, including Butua. Archeologists found a diverse range of objects in Khami from many different places like China and India.[3]

The fall of KhamiEdit

In the 1640s, there was a political dispute among the Torwa rulers that escalated to a Civil War. The Portuguese seized this opportunity and sent an army. This resulted in the fall of Khami; however the Torwa stayed in power until the 1680s in their new capital, 150 km east of Khami.[3]