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Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo (1978).jpg
Nkomo in 1978
Vice-President of Zimbabwe
In office
President Robert Mugabe
Vice President Simon Muzenda
Succeeded by Joseph Msika
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
President Canaan Banana
Prime Minister Robert Mugabe
Personal details
Born (1917-06-19)19 June 1917
Southern Rhodesia
Died 1 July 1999(1999-07-01) (aged 82)
Harare, Zimbabwe
Nationality Zimbabwean
Political party ZAPU
Alma mater Tjolotjo Government Industrial School, Adams College, Jan Hofmeyer School of Social Workers
Profession Politician, guerrilla leader, trade unionist, businessman

Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo (19 June 1917 – 1 July 1999) was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and a member of the Ndebele (Kalanga) tribe.

Nkomo was jailed for ten years by Rhodesia's white minority government. After his release, ZAPU contributed to the fall of that government. Then they fought with a rival group led by Robert Mugabe. Mugabe became President of Zimbabwe. Nkomo was not trusted and eventually fled the country.


In 1999 Nkomo was declared a National Hero. He is buried in the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

On 27 June 2000, a set of four postage stamps were issued with Nkomo's image.

  • Joshua Nkomo with Nicholas Harman, Nkomo: The Story of My Life (autobiography), 1984; ISBN: 0-413-54500-8,ISBN: 978-0-413-54500-8.
  • The Zimbabwe African People's Union 1961–1987: A Political History of Insurgency in Southern Rhodesia.
  • Terence O. Ranger, ‘"Nkomo, Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo (1917–1999)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. accessed 18 June 2006

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