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Croatians in the Central African region

The number of Croatian immigrants in the Rhodesia's was always very small.
In 1921, there were only 3 Croats recorded in Northern Rhodesia.
The 1923 census of Northern Rhodesia, recorded an native African population of nearly one million, plus 3750 Europeans in the territory, so the Croatians comprised only 0.08% of the non African population
According to the figures from the 1956 census of Northern Rhodesia, the African population numbered 2,110,00, the European population 64,800, with 1550 persons of mixed-race and 5,400 Asiatics, at the time there were some 101 Yugoslavs (mostly Croats) in Southern Rhodesia, 134 in Northern Rhodesia and 3 in Nysaland.

Croatians in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia)

  • Antak, Lovre - (source TAM)
  • Antonic, Joseph - lived in Ndola, son Tony and daughter Debbie moved to Natal, daughter Katica returned to Opatija
  • Babaja, Grga (TAM)
  • Barac, ? - Kitwe, son Boris and daughter Barbara - who currently live on the Copperbelt
  • Baricevic, Stjepan (1896-1957) - buried in Nkana Kitwe
  • Blagus, Stjepan - founded a travel agency on Copperbelt and in Lusaka (TAM)
  • Cevic, Peter Nicholas Martin (1937-1940) - buried in Chingola
  • Chervo, Vic - from Bosnia, lives in Kitwe
  • Ciorovich, John Joseph (1940-1941) - buried in Chingola
  • Domijan, Stjepan Domijan (1886-1949) - buried in Chingola
  • Drazic, Stanko - moved to Johannesburg (TAM)
  • Franicevich, ? - originally from Opuzen, lived in Nkana Kitwe, his wife Anka, and children Mile and Ivanka moved to Cape Town
  • Gajic, Zvonimir - Kitwe between 1974-1977
  • Glavovic, ? (TAM)
  • Gasparovich, S - lived in Nkana Kitwe, he returned to Yugoslavia in 1970's
  • Grbcic, Franica (1946-1946) - buried in Nkana
  • Grbcic, J , Steve and Ivica - lived in Nkana Kitwe, Ivica and family moved to Johannesburg, grandson Tony lives in Canada
  • Grbcic, Petar (1900-1954) - buried in Nkana
  • Guzovic, S - lived in Nkana Kitwe, he returned to Yugoslavia in 1970's
  • Jadrijevic, Anne - lives in Lusaka
  • Juretic, Frank - came from Southern Rhodesia, died in Ndola (TAM)
  • Juretic, Frank jnr, - held the position of secretary of the Employers Panel of Mining joint Industrial Council in Zambia, published papers on mine shaft sinking and in 1952 received a prize from the London-based Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. (TAM)
  • Jericevich, Mate? - from RSA, worked on Copperbelt for a short period
  • Anselmo Kabalin - played rugby in the early 1930's for the Northern Rhodesian team. After 1964, he moved to Johannesburg. (TAM)
  • Vladimir Kerdić worked on the Copperbelt around 1953-1957 and returned to the RSA
  • Kombol, ? (TAM)
  • Korunich, Frank - lived in Luanshya 1967- 1972
  • Kraljic, Robert - lives in Lusaka,
  • Milo Lazarevic - sailor from Dubrovnik region? lived in Kitwe, arrived in 1939, owned brick works and vegetable farm, family moved to Cape Province, RSA, in the late 1960's
  • Limpic, Simun (1905-1990) - buried in Ndola
  • Lozina, Mate (TAM)
  • Lusic, Vinko - buried in Nkana Kitwe, arrived around 1931 via Southern Rhodesia, arrived in RSA around 1928
  • Vlado Lušić worked on the Copperbelt for a few years before returning to Yugoslavia in the early 1960's
  • Mavric brothers (TAM)
  • Mazuranic brothers (TAM)
  • Mrzljak, ? (TAM)
  • Piskulic, B (TAM)
  • Plovanic, ? (TAM)
  • Polic brothers (TAM)
  • Posa, ? - from Korcula, lived in Nkana Kitwe, he returned to Yugoslavia in 1970's
  • Radetic, ? (TAM)
  • Tasilo Rukavina - from Lika, worked on the Copperbelt during late 1920's, moved to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) (TAM)
  • Sokolich, John William (1928-1951) - buried in Nkana Kitwe
  • Sokolich, Andrew - lived in Nkana, Mufulira, Bancroft from 1927-1961
  • Tasovac, Danilo (TAM)
  • Piero Toich (1910-1935) - died on the Copperbelt, buried in the Nkana cemetery, related to Toich family in Pretoria, RSA
  • Tonkovic, Valentin (TAM)
  • Tonkovic, Mate (TAM)
  • Vrdoljak, Steve - lives in Ndola
  • Zeravica, Josip - lives in Lusaka, sons Robert and Marjan
  • Zeravica, Petar - lives in Lusaka,
  • Zvanovic, Ivo TAM

Croatians in Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia/Rhodesia)

The earliest arrivals - before 1900 -

  • Boskovich, Pavle - from Istanbul, arrived 1895 (source TAM)
  • Brnich, Franc Josip - from near Rijeka, arrived 1897 (TAM)
  • Jokovich, Jure - from Vela Luka, Korcula arrived 1897 (TAM)
  • Paulovich, Pavle- from Dubrovnik, arrived 1888 (TAM)
  • Pavlovich, Paul - from Dubrovnik, arrived 1893, from USA (TAM)
  • Rosich, Pavle - from Skrljevo near Rijeka, arrived 1879 - member of Rhodesian Pioneer and Early Settlers Society 1894 aka Rosick (TAM)
  • Sekul, AW - from Bobovisca? island Brac, member of Rhodesian Pioneer and Early Settlers Society 1890 aka Seccull
  • Sokolic, Josef - from Novi , arrived 1894 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Zoricic, Ignac, - from Novi, arrived 1897 (TAM)

The later arrivals -

  • Baburica, Nikola - from Dalmatia, arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Balarin, Dinko - born 1905 arrived 1920 from Nerezisca (IOB)
  • Balarin, Zorka - born 1918 arrived 1938 from Nerezisca (IOB)
  • Bernic, ? TAM
  • Bozic, Ivan - from Zarece, arrived 1910 (TAM)
  • Brnic, Ivan - from Sveti Jakov (TAM)
  • Brnjac, Mate - from Crikvenica (TAM)
  • Bubanj, Bozo - from Dalmatia, arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Ciko, Petar - from Kotor, arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Domijan, Josip, from Susak, arrived 1904 Wankie (TAM)
  • Jadrijevic, Dusan - born 1908 arrived 1938 from Donji Humac, (IOB) descendants live in Pretoria, RSA
  • Jadrijevic, Rozalija - born 1914 arrived 1944 from Donji Humac (IOB)
  • Jadrijevic, Toncica - born 1937 arrived 1944 from Donji Humac (IOB)
  • Jakic, Marko - from Podgora, arrived 1913 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Antun Janjetić (1859-1934) from Istria, via RSA
  • Jercinovic, ? (TAM)
  • Juretic, Frank - from Grobnik near Rijeka.- Was owner of two gold mining claims, one in Sinoia and another in Shamwa. At the start of the First World War he was interned as an Austrian subject, and consequently lost his mining claims. He died in 1946 in Ndola, Zambia. (TAM)
  • Jurinovic, Pasko - from Vis, arrived 1910 Gatooma (TAM)
  • Josip Kabalin - from Novi Vinodolski, arrived 1909 Bulawayo (TAM)
  • Kavcic, Dominik - arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Klanfar, Stjepan (TAM)
  • Lazarich, Jan - from Rijeka, arrived 1901 Gwelo (TAM)
  • Lebedina, Katica - born 1889 arrived 1912 from Bobovisca (IOB)
  • Ljubic, Ivan - from Dalmatia (TAM)
  • Malinaric, Stipan - from Grizane, arrived 1903 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Marangunic, Margarita - born 1880 arrived 1915 from Bobovisca (IOB)
  • Meneco Matkovich from Vrbanj, Hvar - his grandsons moved to Natal, RSA and are related to South African golfer Dale Hayes.
  • Anthony Matkovich
  • Milos, Ivan - from Smrika, arrived 1909 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Miskulin, ? - arrived from USA son Milan moved to RSA
  • Munitic, Mario - from Vis, arrived Umtali (TAM)
  • Pavlinovic, Jozo - from Podgora, arrived 1913 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Perhat, Ivan - from Sveti Jakov, arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Josip Perhat (1880-1963) Umtali
  • Petrovic, Mirko - from Mali Dol, arrived 1901 Umtali (TAM)
  • Polessi, Jakov - from Rijeka , arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Polic, Martin - from Hreljin (TAM)
  • Postic, ? - from Volsko, - changed surname to Postage, descendants live in Johannesburg (TAM)
  • Tasilo Rukavina - from Lika, worked as a shift boss in the Copper Belt mines and later moved to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). From 1935 he worked as a prospector, he died in a motor accident in 1961. (TAM)
  • Sirola, Antun - from Kastav, arrived Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Skiljan, Mate - from Crikvenica (TAM)
  • Sumic, Ivan - from Podgora, arrived 1911 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Sumic, Jure - from Podgora, arrived 1913 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Stipancic, ? - from Grizane - changed surname to Stephens (TAM)
  • Udovic, Josip - from Istria, arrived 1900 Salisbury/Harare (TAM)
  • Vucinovic, ? - changed surname to Watson (TAM)

Croatians in Malawi (Nyasaland)

  • names unknown (TAM)

Croatians in Botswana

  • Davidovic, ?
  • Korunic, Frank - lives in Selebi-Phikwe, from Luanshya, Zambia
  • Music, ?
  • Spoja, ? - Serowe
  • Temšić, Vlado - Gaborone

Croatians in Namibia (South West Africa)

  • Korner - uncertain - listed as Croatian, but is probably German
  • Sokolic, Ivan and Vinko - Windhoek
  • Vidas, Andrina (nee Paladin) - Windhoek

Croatians in Zaire (Belgian Congo)

  • Kukura, Toma from Vis (source TAM)
  • Ljuba, Ljubo from Zlarin in 1902 (TAM)
  • Nikolic, Rade from Hungary (TAM)
  • Vucenovic, Roger from Dalmatia in 1913 (TAM)
  • Ziberina, Ivan 1913 (TAM)

Background information

In 1911 there were, according to the Rhodesian census, 114 Austrians and, as in South Africa, the majority of these were Croats. After the First World War a number of them left the country for home or moved to South Africa. As a result, in the 1921 census there
were only 24 Yugoslavs (the Rhodesian census recorded citizens of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as Yugoslavs already in 1921 ) 111 Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and three in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). By 1931 there were 72 male and 2 female Croatian immigrants in the Copperbelt and around 70 in Southern Rhodesia. Throughout the 1930s this figure remained more or less unchanged. Twenty five years later, in the 1956 census there were 101 recorded Yugoslavs in Southern Rhodesia, 134 in Northern Rhodesia and 3 in Nyasaland. In other words a total of 238, of which 104 were naturalised British subjects. An investigation has shown that nearly all of these people were of Croatian origin. (TA Mursalo - In Search of a Better Life)"

These are projects for the Central African region, but with a more general interest

Sources Used

  • IOB - from book 'Iseljenici Otoka Braca' (Emigrants from island Brac)
  • TAM - from books by TA Mursalo e.g. In Search of a Better Life
  • buried - info from gravestones
  • Yearbooks (various) from Government printers
  • Rhodesian Genesis by Neville Jones


  • Croatian graves on the Copperbelt PDF
  • Northern Rhodesia census figures
  • TA Mursalo reported in 2000 that there were some 60 Croatians and their descendants living in Zambia, with about double that figure living in Zimbabwe, relatively few in Namibia, some 40 Croatians living in Botswana, one in Lesotho, a few in Swaziland, and one Croat living in Mozambique.