The Embassy of Zimbabwe occupies an elegant – and huge – building in the Strand. Built as the headquarters for the British Medical Association, the building served as the High Commission of Southern Rhodesia from 1923 until the Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence on November 11, 1965. It remained a representative office until the colony gained independence as Zimbabwe in 1980 and has since been known as Zimbabwe House. The ‘Ages of Man’ sculptures by Jacob Epstein, the sculptor’s first major commission in England, were carved in situ. Some mutilation of the statues occurred in the 1930s when possibly dangerous projecting features were hacked-off after pieces fell from one of the statues. All above and building photo thanks to RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).
London, indeed the UK, being a free spirited place, is happy to see people orderly expressing their reservation about the Zimbabwean government directly outside the Embassy. A regular ‘vigil’ occurs each Saturday, come rain or shine. Everyone is very open and happy to have chats, though tough times could be read between the lines. Dropping in at the vigil can be very instructive. And there’s live song and music to draw you in.