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I have often wondered why on earth I had ever embarked on such an ambitious project but, the bottom line was that I had an interesting story to tell if I bound up eight years of research into a descriptive historical novel based on the truths and untruths of that research.
Then I realised I had actually the perfect vehicle to carry it out!
Having been born and bred in Tsholotsho, in the historic heart of Matabeleland, the three best friends of my childhood years, were Ndebele boys. They went on to lead such diverse lives, that between the four of us, we could bring to life the hopes, aspirations, desperations and increasing isolation of our country, covering its history in a vivid and dramatic way.
Book One takes us from 1840, the formation of the Matebele Kingdom by Mzilikazi, through Lobengula’s reign, on to the carpet baggers, empire builders and early administration of Southern Rhodesia (the last of Britain’s colonies) . . . to conclude shortly after UDI - the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Prime Minister Ian Smith.
Book Two takes the four characters through their individual experiences of the war and sanctions years to 1980 . . . and Book Three will cover the Mugabe era to whenever the book is completed.
It is a most fascinating history and winding a spellbinding fictional story over the bones of the historic evidence has been intriguing, confronting and ultimately, most satisfying!
I look forward to catching up with many old friends and acquaintances at this stunning Cleveland Library in Redlands on Saturday the 27th of July. Have a bite of lunch then pop on down and I’ll try to keep you awake!!