1980 – First Day of Zimbabwe
First Day of Zimbabwe
18 April 1980
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia gained official independence as Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980.
The Government held independence celebrations in Rufaro stadium in Salisbury. Lord Christopher Soames, the last Governor of Southern Rhodesia, watched as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, gave a farewell salute and the Rhodesian Signal Corps played “God Save the Queen”.
Many foreign dignitaries also attended, including Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, President Seretse Khama of Botswana, and Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser of Australia, representing the Commonwealth of Nations. Bob Marley sang ‘Zimbabwe’, a song he wrote, at the government’s invitation in a concert at the country’s independence festivities.