Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last of the Rhodesians - Progress so far…

Well quite a lot has been happening behind the scenes. Firstly, I have now obtained the services of a top class editor and even better…for free! Now this person has a mountain of editorial and producing experience but I am not allowed to divulge his name. Secrets indeed! I am only allowed to say this much, and I quote from his Email –
I'd prefer to be known as a "Former BSAP plain-clothes-type whose ZANLA-given Chimurenga (nom-de-guerre) name was Netsai Mabhunu".

Which brings me to the subject of Chimurenga names. I don’t seem to have one, well, not that I know off, but I am working on it. It will have to be based around the word Penga.

I have had the honour of having a chit-chat with this individual who has had a glance over the first six reworked chapters. He also said to stop sending in bits and bobs and every ten minutes excitedly send another slightly changed chapter. Basically, what he meant was to wrap it all up and then send the lot. Okay, fair enough. I reckon that will take another four weeks. He needs about the same amount of time to go over it and then send it back to me for any changes and after that – it is ready to roll hot of the presses, AND believe me, this is HOT.

So hot that Netsai Mabhunu said I haven’t a chance in hell of publishing it, nor getting an endorsement from the likes of Peter Godwin. Now why would that be? He tried to explain that what I have written is too controversial. ‘So what?’ say I. I never intended to write some PC correct nonsense but the hardcore truth as I witnessed it. But, I am not telling it, I am showing it. So far, as I reach well into a third of the rewrite, I have satirically and creatively mentioned racism, segregation, homophobia, religious slandering, white class structure, the difference between town and country, bullying, alcoholism, bravery, cowardice, lunacy and sanity. We have the good, the bad, the beautiful and the downright ugly side portrayed as Rhodesia struggles to hang on to…what? I think I have achieved the right balance between the ludicrous laugh out louds and then with a thump, the reader is brought back down to earth with rather a shock at the almost cryptic way I put over a serious point.
Cartoon by Vic Mackenzie.


What is difficult is to bring over the picture of Rhodesia trapped in an almost Victorian time bubble. The isolation and the total lack of the influence of the counter-culture revolution that ended in 1972 and even the shock culture of punk in 1976 onwards, never entered our little ‘paradise’. As far as Rhodesia was concerned, to hell with ‘the winds of change’…

What Netsai Mabhunu hasn’t realised yet that whilst this is a memoir, it is in fact written as a true adventure story, with all the characters being real and many have contributed. I hope that in this way the book will crossover into mainstream rather than just be picked up by the Rhodesian Diaspora.

I have also been doing a bit of promotion via Facebook etc and deliberately let slip some chapters aimed at former police officers that were with me at Morris Depot police academy. These were in turn leaked further. As a result I have been receiving some interesting and vital information. Some of this has now been included.

Finally, the website is up there but I haven’t done more to it yet. I will wait till the book goes off to editing, then I have more time. Oh, someone wrote that I have rather a high opinion of myself considering the short amount of time I spent in the British South Africa Police. Actually, I have a very highly inflated opinion of myself, but that has nothing to do with the time I was in the BSAP but the fact I was, and always will be - penga.

Catch ya all later.

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