|Founded in May 1957, Mambo Press started off under the name Catholic Mission Press of the Diocese of Gweru. Back then it was simply envisaged as a press capable of supplying the literary needs of the local Catholic missions and schools. The founding staff comprised of one priest, one brother, three Canisius Sisters from Fribourg (Switzerland) and a few untrained young local assistants.|
By the early sixties the press was already meeting a real need in providing the first meaningful translations of vernacular liturgical books and supplying vernacular readers for students. As it turned out, the establishment of the press coincided with a large expansion of mission schools of which the Catholic Church was managing the greatest proportion.
Real change and expansion came about when Fr. Mike Traber, SMB took charge of the press in 1962. The name Catholic Mission Press was changed to Mambo Press. We were no longer to be concerned only with printing Catholic or religious literature. There was meant to be practised that broad vista of Christian humanism seen against the background of both traditional and modern Africa. Mambo Press was to reflect in its publications the aspirations of the emerging African nationalism, state of affairs in race as well as church-state relations. The newspaper Moto, launched by Mambo Press in that period, lent itself more to a critical review of current affairs whereas books and pamphlets concentrated more on analysis and research.