Monday, July 09, 2007

Secret Lives: Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

This is a picture of me with my copy of the book Rhodesian Memories Part 1, that was kindly sent to me by Bill McDonald from who helped to compile and publish it. (You can order a copy from there.) I am proud to say that two of my anecdotes are in it. Best of all, the very first story is mine! Having read about a third of the book so far, I have come to the conclusion that my anecdotes are the best. How’s that for modesty. The others are good of course; don’t get me wrong, I am just preening myself.

I was sitting on the toilet this morning, reading some more from a contribution by Derek Partridge. He was quite the celebrity on Rhodesian television. Then suddenly, as I was pressing a large coil, I was stopped in mid push by a name that sprang out the page - Bill Basson. It mentioned that Bill, who at the time was the chairman of British American Tobacco, had in his 1977 government appointed investigation of the new board of the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation, recommended sacking all the directors and most of the top radio management. Quoting from the book, Derek says –

‘it was not implemented…and the results were disastrous for RTV and for Rhodesian viewers.’

Very interesting indeed, but so what? Well, I am sick and tired of seeing the name Basson in some form of print because it makes me feel like a loser. His son, Ryk, has at least three photographs of himself in the book Rhodesian Senior Schools Part 2; lined up in the rugby team, the water polo team, the bloody athletic team (vomit vomit), but you won't see a picture of me in the gymspastics team! Ryk and I were in the same class at Mount Pleasant School for a while. He was always top of the class academically and I was always at the bottom. I was always at the top for being a clown, then and now, whilst Ryk went on to be a dentist. It was him who pulled my rotting tooth out my head a short time ago and it was him along with a few other best friends that said to me last week ‘when are you finishing the bloody book?’. Here is the answer -

With Part 1 of my memoirs, Last Of The Rhodesians: Chronicles of a Colonial Anarchist, now heading towards the 600 page mark, I realised I was floundering. The first book only covers my antics up till the age of 21 and had to make a new plan. I had always decided to have it in three sections. The school years, the police years and the last bit covered my exodus from Rhodesia and some of my adventures in Europe, as a sort of prologue to the next book.

With Zimbabwe crashing down like a house of cards in flames, I needed to get something finished as soon as possible while the subject is still hot. I decided to go back to the beginning and go over once again the school years. I discovered that along with substantial rewriting needed, in the time that has passed since I first wrote the chapters, I have recalled more details. Now thanks to my courses with the Open University in creative writing, I have the ability to make LOTR far better than even I imagined.

So the plan is to finish the school years in its entirety and with luck I will have it ready in time for Christmas. I will keep you informed. You will not be disappointed, that I promise. It will have all the trademarks of my style of writing – highly entertaining, extremely honest, full of satirical wit and most of all, very very funny!

Oh, if your looking for a good dentist in London, click on the link Rhodie dentist.

If you have a moment, please take time to look at the pictures from yesterdays The Guardian newspaper. The one above is taken from the collection of 26 harrowing images. (It is the entrance gate to one of the invaded farms.) I looked and when I compared them to the pictures in my head of my own childhood in the same place, my mind just boggled.

Finally, I took this bit from an article in today’s Telegraph

Judith Todd's father, Sir Garfield Todd, was Rhodesia's last liberal leader and she was imprisoned, force-fed and exiled under Ian Smith's rule for her efforts to promote black majority rule.

This is of course very bad. But is the next part very good?

After independence she returned to head a development agency working particularly with the war veterans who had fought for Zimbabwe. But when she criticised Mr Mugabe's regime she was detained and raped by a senior army officer, she revealed yesterday.

Of course not – but if you read the rest of the article, this women still has shit for brains. I wonder if she would write a nice glowing forward for my book – NOT!;jsessionid=0VEARKCTHR5E5QFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/09/wzim109.xml


bokonon said...

Judith might write a glowing review of your book if you remind her that you are too a victim of that rotten Ian Smith. Also blame everything on the neo-imperial education you received at Mount Pleasant that blinded you to the realities of life and you never had a playstation as a teenager.

Anonymous said...

If we did not have Ian Smith as our leader, Rhodesians would have left the country in 1964. Ian Smith was a leader and if he were the prime minister of Briton this UK would not be in the crap it is today. Ian Smith was not rotten, "bokonon" is obviously not a Rhodesian, so does not understand. If Bokonon was a Rhodesian, he / she was probably one of those whimps that fled the country to avoid military service.