The Madzimbabwe had strong ties to the Bush of Ghosts, and understood life as cyclic journey, from flesh and bone to immateriality, with the Shroud being an artificial construct born out of human shortsightedness. They saw this as both inevitable and desirable. Acting as intermediaries to the Ancestors that dwelled in the Dark Umbra, the Madzimbabwe sought to keep the cycle stabilized by gifting the living with knowledge from the dead. To this end, they sometimes hunted or cursed people that upset this balance (some say that the Madzimbabwe were inspired by the Impergium conducted by the shape-changers of old). They also worked to keep malignant dead, whom they regarded as the causes for ill fortune and physical ailments, away from their people. Madzimbabwe did not differentiate between ghosts and spirits, believing them to be a part of the same aspect of reality. In contrast to their long-time rivals, the Ngoma, the Madzimbabwe preferred to work hidden.
The Madzimbabwe served as spiritual counselors to the people of sub-saharan Africa for several centuries before they were gathered around Great Zimbabwe which would become the center for the Craft. The group was further crystallized during the War of the Dust Witch, in which the Madzimbabwe clearly differentiated themselves from their counterparts, the Ngoma, in battle against groups of Marauders from the Kalahari. While the Ngoma practiced high ritual magic, the Madzimbabwe stayed closer to their roots. While the Madzimbabwe were contacted by Sirdar Rustam, they did not attend the First Samashti. The magical factions within Great Zimbabwe coexisted for a long time, until a spread of disease in 1420 gripped Great Zimbabwe. Both sides accused each other of having brought forth the plague and infighting followed. King Kola'a Ti of Great Zimbabwe settled the issue by granting the Madzimbabwe control over the rural areas, while the Ngoma would stay in the cities.
In the middle of the 15th century, the Madzimbabwe experienced strange visions of the coming of a giant pale ghost that would come and ravage the land. Seeking the answer to these visions, representatives of the Madzimbabwe followed Niaoba to the Grand Convocation. There, the Madzimbabwe chose to ally themselves with other various thanatoic sects from all over the world, forming what was then known as the Chakravanti, after the most numerous sect.
While the Madzimbabwe enjoyed influence in the Rowzi and Mutapa Empires, their actual prominence within their Tradition faded. That their people fell under the control of various colonial forces caused numerous awakened people from these lands to adopt the ways of the Euthanatoi, rather than studying the arts practiced by the Madzimbabwe. Near the end of the 19th century, only the presence of Senex, a powerful archmage trained under the auspices of the Madzimbabwe, prevented the Euthanatoi from declaring them extinct.
Following the fall of the colonial empires, the Madzimbabwe have begun to rise in prominence. Modern Madzimbabwe do not solely rely on the arts practiced by the Ancestors, but also incorporate elements from various Afro-Caribbean religions, like Santería and Voodoo.
The Madzimbabwe are divided into the N'anga and the Ta Kiti. Young members are known as Sviriko, while "N'anga" is also the term for a fully matured mage among them.
While the N'anga see themselves as the heirs of Great Zimbabwe and practice their magic as revealed by their Ancestors, the Ta Kiti practice their magic in the framework of various Afro-Caribbean religions. Their membership has been dwindling, since most Voudoun who awaken either join the Bata'a or the Dreamspeakers and Verbena.