African buildings are frequently cylindrical (round). The Xhosa people of southern Africa construct rondavels, which are spherical one-room dwellings. A rondavel is normally constructed from a ring of timber poles that is filled with mud or basket weave and capped with a conical thatched roof.
The Igbo people of southeast Nigeria build open-sided homes called ijes. These are usually made from wood but sometimes also from clay or even concrete. The walls are always upright except at the entrance, where they lean against each other to form a door way. There are no windows, only holes for smoke to escape. The floor is usually made from beaten earth.
In Ghana, Kenya and other parts of East Africa, houses are often made from mud bricks or stone blocks. They usually have flat roofs made from tiles or gravel. Rooms may be separated by wooden posts or rails. Windows and doors would be too expensive to use as building materials so instead hot air is brought in through ventholes in the roof or walls.
In South Africa, Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Southern Africa, houses are usually made from metal sheets or bars welded together. Walls and ceilings are usually without paper or cloth, only the floor may be covered with ceramic tiles or wood boards. Windows and doors can be very expensive as well so these are rarely used as such instead curtains or blankets are used to cover the openings.
The traditional type of house in Lesotho is called a rondavel. A rondavel is a type of traditional African home. It is typically circular in shape and is traditionally produced with raw materials that may be sourced locally. The walls of a rondavel are frequently made of stones. In some cases, wood or mud is used instead.
There are several types of rondavals. Some are one room while others have multiple rooms. All tend to follow a similar design and use many of the same materials. They can be built for either seasonal or permanent use. When built for temporary use, they have roofs that are designed to be taken down and moved to another location if needed.
Rondavals are common throughout Africa. There have been efforts by NGOs to revive their use through education programs about building skills.
In addition to rondavals, Lesotho has many other types of houses including thosemade from metal, cardboard, and clay. Although these houses are used for special occasions or when money is no object, they are usually not suitable for living in long-term as they do not have adequate insulation values.
Traditional houses in Lesotho were often made of mud bricks or stone. However, since the 1970s, concrete has become widely used as it is more durable and does not require constant maintenance like brick or stone buildings do.
They do not have access to basic necessities such as clean water and electricity. Their houses are either circular (rondavels) or rectangular in shape. Their dwellings are generally composed of mud or concrete blocks, with a thatched roof made of grass or iron sheets.
The Zulu people lived in small, one-room structures called "intake shacks." These were usually built on stilts out of bamboo and wood, with a thatched roof. There was only enough room inside an intake shack for a bed, a stool, and a cooking pot. A hole in the ground served as a toilet. In more rural areas, Indians used "bush toilets": they just dug a little hole and deposited their waste deep in the ground. When it rained, the smell was terrible!
Intake shacks were found only in rural areas where there was no public sanitation. In cities like Johannesburg, South Africa, Indians lived in high-rise apartments or bungalows. They also had running water and flush toilets.
In conclusion, the Zulu people lived in small houses with no windows or doors. They had no bathrooms or kitchens, only cooking pots and stools. They spent most of their time gathering food for themselves and their families. Some priests believe that God will send another plague to kill more people if they don't give up their weapons.
Traditional dwellings, particularly in rural regions, still have thatched roofs and mud walls, comparable to buildings dating back to Great Zimbabwe's stone-walled cottages. House walls in contemporary times are often made of coursed, sun-dried bricks, with rectangular doors and brush roofs. Ceiling fans are becoming more common.
In cities such as Harare, buildings are usually made of concrete with wood or steel frames. Rooms have plasterboard or cement walls and ceilings, with wooden floors covered in fabric or carpet. Electricity is generally supplied by a generator which uses petrol or diesel as a fuel source. The majority of people in Zimbabwe are rural farmers, so there are very few buildings within the country's urban centers that are over 10 years old.
The standard house in rural areas is called a "shamba" (pronounced "she-mah-bah"). It is usually made out of clay or mud and has only one floor. There might be a porch at one end for storing firewood or for animals to shelter in during bad weather. The house would usually have between three and seven rooms depending on how rich its owner is. Two pieces of timber or metal poles stuck into the ground with their ends touching is all that is needed to build a simple shamba. Sometimes if there is enough money involved, it can also be done with adobe or stones.
People in rural areas often work on contract jobs for large companies.
In Tanzania, there are two types of circular houses: beehive and cylindrical. A circular structure of branches linked at the top is used to construct the beehive home. The exterior of this structure is then covered with grass or palm thatch, leaving a tiny hole for a door (Figs. 1-3). Inside, the walls are made of mud bricks. There is usually one main room where all the family members eat together.
A cylindrical house is made of wood with the bark still on it. These houses have thick walls and a conical roof made of grass or metal sheets. The top of the house has an opening for light and air. Sometimes a hole is also made in the ground floor for water to drain away from the house.
People usually live in a house until they build another one for themselves. If they can afford it, they will add on to their existing house. Otherwise, they will make do with what they have.
Houses in Tanzania are very simple but functional. They usually have three rooms: a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom. Sometimes there is also a small storage room attached to the house.
Most Tanzanians live in rural areas in small villages. They farm the land and grow crops such as maize, cassava, potatoes, beans, and carrots. When food becomes scarce, they often go to cities looking for work.