George Kahari was born on 20 July 1930 at Chiriseri in the Bindura District. His father, a teacher at the Salvation Army’s Howard Institute, later joined the BSA Police (from which he retired in 1947). George had only one brother who died young, and George was raised as an only child.
He attended the Chiriseri village primary school; later he moved to Harare in Salisbury (Harare), and finally completed his primary schooling at the Howard Institute in 1946.
He then went to Dadaya Mission School where he was instructed by Garfield Todd and his wife, Grace, as well as by Ndabaningi Sithole. After leaving school he took a teacher-training course at Marist Brothers College at Kutama Mission.
In 1951 he obtained his Higher Certificate for primary teachers. For the next five years he taught in both primary and secondary schools at the mission, reading for his B.A. in Sociology, administration and Shona (with the University of South Africa) during his free time.
He subsequently taught at government schools and it was while he was Deputy Head at Shabani Town School (later called Gresham) in 1958 that he joined the local branch of the ANCongress, which was then led by Daniel Ngole.
After a period of teaching at Sakubva in Umtali (Mutare) he took study leave overseas in 1961-62 and obtained his post-graduate Certificate in Education at Leeds University. In 1963 he was Headmaster of a school in Highfield and worked closely with Josiah Chinamano on the Education Committee for Highfield Community School. He was transferred at the end of 1963 to Sinoia (Chinhoyi), where for 18 months he acted as Headmaster of a new government school. In May 1965 he joined the staff of the University of Rhodesia as a lecturer in African Languages, a post which he still holds1
George Kahari has travelled to the United States on a U.S. Government grant to visit American universities. During 1971-72 he was a teacher’s assistant at the School of Oriental and African studies at the University of London.
He has been a strong supporter of Joshua Nkomo since he first became involved in politics in 1958. He was elected a member of the Central Committee of the ANC (Nkomo) at the Special Congress held in September 1975, and was appointed Deputy Publicity Secretary in the following year.
In October 1976 he was appointed a member of the Nkomo delegation to the Geneva Conference. Since his return he has travelled on political missions to both Zambia and Botswana.
George Kahari is a well-built, immaculately dressed man with a powerful voice and a readiness to enjoy a joke. He maintains that he has always been a believer in the need for a peaceful, negotiated settlement in Rhodesia, and he freely expresses the hope that whites will remain in the country to play a significant role in the future. For relaxation he listens to both classical and pop music.
While at Kutama in 1955 he married a colleague, Betty Likwambe. They have six children, four boys and two girls. Two of the older children are presently at University.
The Novels of Patrick Chakaipa (Longman Rhodesia, 1972).
The Imaginative Writings of Paul Chidyamiku (Mambo Press, 1975).
20 Articles on aspects of the Shona novel.