Did you know that Mbare was the first high-density suburb (township), being established in 1907. At that time, it was located near the city cemetery, sewage works, and abattoir. It was originally called Harare Township, a name later on used for the capital city itself. Harare is a corruption of Havarari, meaning 'They never sleep’ and this was the name given to the Zezuru Chief of this northeastern part of Zimbabwe, Chief Harava, who resided near the Kopje area.
Mbare (formerly Harare) started to expand in about 1907 when the white settlers built a town called Salisbury, and thus created an influx of people coming from Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi looking for employment. The phenomenon gave rise to urban development, but real growth was accelerated when Mbare moved from where Cold Storage Commission is today to its present location.
Another important building which is located in Mbare is the Stoddart Hall, a well-known stop-over for national heroes on their way to their final resting places. Stodart Hall is the township’s biggest community centre, which played a pivotal role in the outset of the Second Chimurenga.
From the Pioneer Cemetery to Harare Cemetery which is noted for its World War graves, Mbare has a rich history.
Stodart Hall, Mbare's biggest community centre, hosted Sir Cliff Richard during his music tour in the 1960s.