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Layout Table~~~~283~283~~
Fiction - Novels~Rhodesia / Zimbabwe~~~283~284~Fiction (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe)%3Cbr%3EPoetry, short stories and novels covering Rhodesia Zimbabwe, Includes some well known names - John Eppel, The Rain Goddess - Peter Stiff, King%27s Gold - Glen Macaskill, Of Land and Spirit - Alan Thrush~
A Dream Too Far - Johan Van Coller~In 1972, Philip Kruger achieves his lifelong quest when he discovers Eland's Home ranch in an isolated south-eastern corner of Southern Rhodesia. With a wide range of intact wildlife already living there, nothing could be more perfect, until he finds his other dream come true - Rene, a beautiful, sexy young woman who has grown up in the Mateke Hills, who shares his love of the land, and who just happens to fall in love with him. Philip and Rene could not be happier - together now, with their two lovely children, Elsie and Johnny, their prosperous eco-tourism business and their ever-expanding list of game species. However, trouble is brewing, as Mugabe’s revolutionaries advance, slaughtering all whites living in Rhodesia who won't relinquish their homes. In this captivating true-to-life story, Philip must become a fugitive, and a much sought after enemy of Mugabe’s terrorists, if he is to win his gruelling quest for freedom. We feel his anguish as dreams turn to despair, and before long he has lost his family, friends and his beloved Eland's Home Ranch. How will it all end? As it becomes agonisingly clear that, for a white man in black Africa, owning 15,000 acres of land was, perhaps…a dream too far.
ISBN 1843862069, 2006, Paperback,~~A Dream Too Far|ISBN 1843862069|~283~11042~A Dream Too Far, Johan Van Coller~
A Walk Against The Stream - AJ Ballinger~A Walk Against The Stream is a true story that revolves around a young man called up to do his National Service in war torn Rhodesia in the late 1970's. His army posting is to one of the country's premier tourist resorts and it is there that he falls in love with a young croupier from a nearby Casino. The story centres on their relationship and the challenges they face as the war rages around them and the village they live in. It is a passionate embrace of a first love and a lost love. Of wasted youth and blood spilled on the dry African soil. A fascinating insight into the life of two young people brought together by love and war in a truly magnificent Continent.
'A Walk against the Stream' is a true, passionate story of love, youth and war in a country on the brink of falling apart. It is one of the better books of its genre, because of its human interest and is quite clearly written from the heart. I recommend it to any reader.' - Hugh Bomford: Hon. Secretary, Rhodesian Services Association.
ISBN 1-4251-0503-3, Paperback 471 pages.~Trafford Publishing, 2007
ISBN 1-4251-0503-3
471 pages

The Book
A Walk Against The Stream is a true story that revolves around a young man called up to do his National Service in war torn Rhodesia in the late 1970's. His army posting is to one of the country's premier tourist resorts and it is there that he falls in love with a young croupier from a nearby Casino.

The story centres on their relationship and the challenges they face as the war rages around them and the village they live in. It is a passionate embrace of a first love and a lost love. Of wasted youth and blood spilled on the dry African soil.

A fascinating insight into the life of two young people brought together by love and war in a truly magnificent Continent.

The Author
The Author was born in Rhodesia, as it was known before its rebirth to Zimbabwe in April 1980. Brought up in a modest home in Salisbury, the Author attended nearby Churchill High School where he graduated in 1972.

Preferring travel to further studies, the Author worked his way around parts of the world until he returned to Rhodesia in 1976.

By this time war had engulfed his country of birth and the Author found himself drafted into the Army to fight terrorists bent on its destruction. This he did for four years, serving in various Army and Police units until the arrival of majority rule under Robert Mugabe in April 1980.

The Author left Zimbabwe in 1980 and live in South Africa for five years before returning to Zimbabwe in early 1986 to start a Construction company with his brother.

In 2000 President Mugabe "redistributed" farms belonging to the white community in Zimbabwe and this led to a rapid implosion of the economy. The Author was forced to liquidate his business in 2002 and now lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and two children.

Extracted from the book........


This is a true story, based on my personal experiences in the Rhodesian Army. All of the characters, places and events are real, although one or two scenes are narrated in the third person to allow continuity.

I do not claim to have achieved anything spectacular during my experiences in the Rhodesian bush war but I continue to have a deep love for that country and felt I should put my story forward, to complement the tapestry of other fine works on this subject.

Whether you see one corpse or a hundred, you are forever changed and the innocent youth that you once were is gone for good.

So, this is a story of lost youth, lost love and the loss of a country loved more deeply than the other two.

The original manuscript for this book was written in 1980 and it included more fiction than fact. When I decided to re-write it in 2006, I set about making it a factual book about my personal experiences in the Rhodesian Army at Victoria Falls, Rhodesia. Half way through the revision, I realised the book should be a story for all the men who served with me, particularly as so many contributed photographs. Indeed, the photographs I have included tell a wider story outside the scope of this book and are a tribute in themselves to the men I served with. The final draft, therefore, is somewhat of a hybrid of the two aims and I apologise if some of the men who served with me feel I have not done justice to them. I also apologise if time and a fading memory has led to any error on my part.~A Walk Against The Stream|ISBN 1425105033|~283~12994~~
Between the Sunlight and the Thunder - Keith Meadows~Standard Edition. By the author of bestsellers - Fothergill, Sand in the Wind and Sometimes when it Rains.
This is a major novel of fast-changing Africa that covers 25 years of colonial history when those winds wreaked havoc on people and havoc alike. In a blend of fact and fiction, of real-life, disguised and invented characters in three countries, this historical novel, whilst harrowing, is also insightful and hauntingly beautiful.
ISBN 095849391X, Paperback 2006. 506 pages.~Rowland Ward
ISBN 0-9584939-1-X
Softcover, 506 pages

In the style of Wilbur Smith this is a "fast-moving, thundering good read". Keith takes his readers through trials and tribulations of an emerging new Africa. The horrors of the Mau Mau, the turbulence in the Congo, politics and poaching in the early post-UDI days of Rhodesia, the story is full of action, a good dollop of sex, a love story and some evocative descriptions of scenic Africa and it's flora and fauna. Keith's knowledge of hunting, weapons and all sorts of 'manly' things will appeal greatly to male readers, whilst his intimate knowledge and love of Africa, it's people and wildlife shines through, bringing the beauty of Africa alive. Well researched, the book is a blend of fact and fiction with some interesting historical details, excellent descriptions of characters - fictional and thinly-disguised real people - places and events that did occur. This book will take very many people down memory lane, as well as bring to life, in a most enjoyable way, some of the events that took place in an ever-changing Africa.

Reviews / Readers comments

"Anyone who has experienced war, terrorism or insurgency set in the grandeur of the African bush, the Africa of then and now, will feel a pang of nostalgia and recollection which can only be conveyed by a talented author such as Keith Meadows, who has been there, seen it and done it!" - Capt. John H Brandt (Ret) author of "Horned Giants"~Between the Sunlight and the Thunder|ISBN 095849391X|~283~11331~~
Blood Lily - Mason Cranwick~War and decay are transitory … but the land is forever
Scott is facing bankruptcy amid the turmoil that grips the financial markets of 2008. He is saved when money is transferred to his account from an unexpected source. We flash back to war-torn 1970's Rhodesia where Scott is growing up as a privileged white boy alongside his best friend, Simba, a black boy, on his parents' farm ... A sweeping tale of naivety, treachery, war and genocide, of love and friendship...and ultimately of hope and regeneration.
'The Rhodesian War was a war that should never have happened. Cranswick vividly illustrates the effect the war had on the youth of both races. His book rekindles nostalgic memories of a beautiful, well-ordered land that did not deserve what it got ... a gripping account that is difficult to put down.' - Lieutenant Colonel Ron Reid-Daly (former CO The Selous Scout Regiment)
'Outstanding to say the least... the excitement level is maintained throughout the book; it kept me on edge all the time. It will touch your heart.' - Ray Mordt (former Springbok and Rhodesian winger)
ISBN: 978-0-9584891-9-5. Nov 2009. Paperback 284 pages.~Reviews

"War, politics and tragedy test the foundations of a lifelong friendship ... a thrilling story of loyalty and betrayal, forged in the heat of a war in which there would ultimately be no winners" - Bruce Dennill, The Citizen

"Cranswick's love and deep respect for nature is obvious in his admirable descriptions of the beautiful Zimbabwean bushveld and wildlife. He highlights a number of actions which were an important part of the Rhodesian bush war campaign. However, the real strength of this compelling story lies in its hope that good will eventually derive from the chaos that predominates in this country at present. It is a hope we all share" - General John Hickman (former Commander Rhodesian Army)

"I could not stop reading this in-depth story; it was fascinating to read of those incredible incidents that actually happened. Blood Lily sends a clear message to all people on this continent that we should not allow our leaders to dictate and feed propaganda to the masses. It is a book that we can all relate to and it will touch your heart when you recognise what a great place Africa can become if only we communicate with and respect all cultures. Blood Lily brings back so many memories, both happy and sad. An enjoyable and easy read, I could not put it down. Thank you for allowing me to rekindle all those years in that wonderful piece of land called Zimbabwe" - Ray Mordt (former Springbok and Rhodesian winger)

Estimated dispatch date: Late April 2010 (Subject to demand)
ITEM CODE - BLMC~Blood Lily|ISBN 9780958489195|Blood Lily|X ISBN 9780958489195|~283~12824~~
Bones - Chenjerai Hove~Bones is the novel which, in 1989, won for Chenjerai Hove the prestigious Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. The Noma Award citation described it as `a powerful, moving and ambitious novel, written with exceptional linguistic control, plumbing the %7E%7E depths of human suffering but having the wisdom to hope'. Already published in several international editions, including German, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese, Bones provides a sensi-tive evocation of Marita, a farm-worker, whose only son joined the freedom fighters in Zimbabwe's war of liberation. Marita's courage and endurance is reconstructed through the memories of those who knew her, in a poetic language rich in Shona idiom. Every recollection gives texture and weight to the portrayal of a woman whose `simple life' was a battlefield of hardship and oppression. Chenjerai Hove, in his first novel in English which has been hailed by critics as `a work of great generosity, humour and affection', poignantly reminds us that so many of our moral choices are often contained in the minutiae of everyday life.
Boabab Books, 1990. Softback 112 pages~~Bones|ISBN 0908311036|~283~13198~~
Canaan North - Tony Geldenhuys~1965 – The first gusts of the `Winds of Change’ have reached the southern states of Africa when Derek du Toit inherits his murdered grandfather’s farm, Canaan North, in a Rhodesia that a month previously unilaterally declared independence from Great Britain. Although confronted with tribal murder, political thuggery, and insurgency, he is confident and enthusiastic about the country’s future and starting a new life on Canaan North with his fiancée, Sophia. But he falls prey to a new breed of criminal opportunists spawned by the ever increasing economic sanctions against the country and stands to lose his heritage. Desperate to keep Canaan North, he and Sophia undertake a clandestine journey into the wilds of Angola, to find a long buried satchel that holds the key to a family fortune and that will earn them reward enough to keep Canaan North. Not only must they evade Portuguese security forces, but also a vicious renegade intelligence agent who will kill to stop them.
JDP 2008. Softback 443 pages.~~Canaan North|ISBN13 9781920315108|~283~11972~~
Come Break a Spear - Ivan Smith~An alternative title to this exciting work could have been PATU Stick Whiskey Charlie. Ben and Josiya, have come to their look-out post in Rhodesian lowveld by separate roads, arrived at manhood by paths which have led from the golden years of their boyhood when they hunted together, to the war in which they found themselves members of the same PATU stick (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit). They have since worked together, for four years, and now they hunt men.... Somewhere a poison has seeped into the land....This powerfully atmospheric piece of writing by an ex-BSAP policeman (13 years service) vividly portrays the cruel cat-and-mouse drama of the Rhodesian bush war.
Softback. ISBN 0 949931 04 7 ~Black Eagle Press, 1980.
197 x 125 mm, vi, 232 pp.
ISBN 0 949931 04 7 Paperback
An alternative title to this exciting new work could have been PATU Stick Whiskey Charlie. This powerfully atmospheric piece of writing by a new Zimbabwean author vividly portrays the cruel cat-and-mouse drama of the Rhodesian bush war. It marks Ivan Smith's debut as a writer, and the deceptively simple style of this former policeman shows great promise.

Ben and Josiya, have come to their look-out post in Rhodesian lowveld by separate roads, arrived at manhood by paths which have led from the golden years of their boyhood when they hunted together, to the war in which they found themselves members of the same PATU stick (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit). They have since worked together, for four years, and now they hunt men.... Somewhere a poison has seeped into the land....

When the enemy show, they will walk into action and after that? No; think only of today and tomorrow, not the future . . . men at war cannot think of the future.

And then there is this thing with Nick. Ben and Nick had encouraged each other's amorous adventures from the days when they were at school together, to their indiscriminate pleasuring of liberated ladies from the Copperbelt to Copenhagen. There were no problems until Nick married and his new wife met Ben ....

"When Smith writes about people and events he has experienced in his active life as a schoolboy, copper miner, soldier, drifter, Congo mercenary and policeman, he writes very well indeed."THE SUNDAY NEWS

"He deserves to achieve a notable success with this book and one can only hope that the indefinable something will persist and make his subsequent offerings as compelling. They are surely something to look forward to."SUNDAY MAIL~Come Break a Spear|C ISBN 0949931047|~283~1428~Come Break a Spear, Ivan Smith~
Dance of Eagles - JS Holloway~An explosive adventure-thriller set in 14th-century Africa, and in the 1970's bush war of Rhodesia-Zimbabwe. Powerful characters who shaped their worlds: Tcana, daughter of a cattleherd, wife of a prince, high priestess of a new religion that will rip apart the ancient city of Tsimbaboue. American TV journalist Rebecca Rawlings, caught up centuries later in the remnants of Tcana's faith and a violent war of attrition. Peter Kennedy, commander of the famed Selous Scouts. His friend and right-hand man, Kuru. And Kuru's brother, Mandhla, trained as a top flight freedom fighter by the Russians. In this gripping tale of love and retribution, Mandhla stalks the woman he sees as the key to his revenge, just as surely as Peter and Kuru stalk the man known only to them by his nom-de-guerre: the Mamba.
Sunpenny Publishing 2007. Softback, 369 pages.~Sunpenny Publishing
369 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0-9555283-0-9


Wilbur Smith
"... reminds me of some of the great works of Wilbur Smith. This book certainly ranks with some of the best ... I would not hesitate to give it the highest rating available."
- Lillian Brummett, Book Ideas.

Clarity and Style
"The narrative is fast-paced and crisply told. ... never forgets to keep her stories moving, alternating between historical eras and geographical locations swiftly. She writes with clarity and style. Above all, her novel melds many universal themes - love, hatred, religion, fear and rebellion - into one insightful, compulsive narrative."
- BookWire Review

Compulsive Reading
"... pulls no punches. The characters are finely drawn and the story becomes compulsive reading."
- Lucy McCarraher , author of Blood & Water, and The Book of Balanced Living

Engrossing page-turner
"A book that held my interest right through to the last page, twisting and turning through the plot, bringing the far-away characters and scenery straight into my London pad. The Ximbaoue ruins are now on my list of Things to See, having been brought to life by the author. A fantastic read and insight into an ancient people and a war-torn country."
- 'A book devourer', independent review online

"An intriguing story, in which the author relays the setting with such clarity and expression that you feel you must immediately book flights to see all these beautiful places in Zimbabwe! I enjoyed the way the book bounced from present to past, where we got to see the lives of two women so far removed from one another's circumstances, yet their lives are intrinsically linked. The story grips you right through to the last page... and the ending leaves you wondering if there will be a sequel."
- Independent review online

Great suspense
"The author has a wonderful way of keeping my interest and I love reading about the woes of countries far away. A great read and a must buy for anyone looking for a wonderul story and intriging plot!"
- J.D. Tynan, lover of good books - independent review online ~Dance of Eagles|ISBN-13 9780955528309|~283~11573~Dance of Eagles, JS Holloway~
Dawn of Deliverance - James R Peters~Based around the battle for Honde Valley in 1977 and the Elim Mission Massacre, and written by a 3rd generation Rhodesian who had served 23 years in INTAF (Ministry of Internal Affairs) & 12 years as a DC.
The story is powerful, fast paced and inspired by the extensive experiences of the author. You will live the challenges of the war, empathize with Jamie's wife while he is in the forefront of the battle. You will learn why winning the hearts and minds of the people is so important. Your heart will pound, you will cry as you read about the terrorist atrocities, you will sigh with relief and the ending will inspire you. Terrorists of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union have seized control of the Honde Valley, and the Prime Minister is in a quandary. The war is escalating on three fronts and the situation in the Honde Valley has deteriorated. Is it possible to make one last-ditch effort to regain the Honde; or should he simply rewrite the borders and concede the Honde to Mugabe? In the book we learn the story of Jamie Ross, a District Commissioner, who accepts an assignment to win back the Honde. Jamie sets out a strategy to win the hearts and minds of the people by relocating 21,000 of them into seven protected villages, and create conditions necessary to re-open the tea estates - a source of vital foreign exchange. Meantime terrorist leader Josiah Makoni is taken from his village, indoctrinated as a feared Marxist guerilla, wins followers and accumulates power with a series of vicious terrorist acts by orchestrating brutal attacks against tribal leaders, white farmers and finally the massacre of 12 missionaries at Elim Mission School. With the occupation of the first of the protected villages Josiah realizes that to retain control of the Honde and its vital access routes he must first kill Jamie Ross and destroy his spirit. But, God apparently has another plan ....
ISBN 9781440132254. Mar 2009. Paperback 348 pages~~Dawn of Deliverance|ISBN 9781440132254|~283~12530~~
Dougie Williams and the Witchdoctors - Richard Brooks~When twelve year old Dougie Williams meets a mysterious man he has no idea what he is in for. Dougie gets into all sorts of trouble with not only his parents but the evil men that will do anything to stop him from breaking the wretched curse that sourrounds his new freind. Follow Dougie's adventurous trail of bravery, laughs and spills. A rollercoaster ride of fun and adventure. Many of the stories in this book are loosely based on actual events that happened whilst growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe.
Lulu 2007. Paperback 186 pages.~~Dougie Williams and the Witchdoctors|8956|~283~11677~~
Erina - Wim Boswinkel~Johan comes to Africa to manage a tea plantation. He meets Erina and his life changes forever. The story takes a leap into the unknown, cleverly blending an African setting with the fantastic premise at its core: the arrival of a black female Christ-figure. The use of AIDS as a weapon to effect the ultimate defeat of Satan adds a powerful and provocative dimension.
ISBN 0 7974 2539 X, AmaBooks, 2003, 100 pages, A5 paperback~ISBN 0 7974 2539 X
AmaBooks, 2003
108 pages, A5 paperback

Johan comes to Africa to manage a tea plantation. He meets Erina and his life changes forever. The story takes a leap into the unknown, cleverly blending an African setting with the fantastic premise at its core: the arrival of a black female Christ-figure. The use of AIDS as a weapon to effect the ultimate defeat of Satan adds a powerful and provocative dimension.

'The book will shock those who deserve to be shocked, and delight those who deserve to be delighted' - John Eppel~Erina|ISBN 079742539X|Erina|Z ISBN 079742539X|~283~1430~Erina, Wim Boswinkel~
Ginette - Sylvia Bond Smith~Ginette, a fast-moving novel based on contemporary events, will be read with particular interest and enjoyment by wives and girl friends of men who served in the Rhodesian bush war. Not all the casualties of the Rhodesian bush war were among the armed combatants. Many were young women who, through war havoc, found their lives shattered and who, with courage, built them up again.
ISBN 0 949931 03 9, Hardcover, Black Eagle Press 1980
ISBN 0 949931 00 4, Softcover, Black Eagle Press, 1980~~[Select Edition]|!10792|Ginette (S/Cover)|C ISBN 0949931004|Ginette (H/Cover)|C ISBN 0949931039|~283~1433~Ginette, Sylvia Bond Smith~
Grasping the Nettle - Gordon Thomas Orr~A thriller set in contemorary Zimbabwe and its surrounding countries as well as further away - Libya and UK.Bush pilot James Hacking who has security and a reasonable standard of living away from Zimbabwe is preoccupied juggling several women and a rocky marriage, until Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is deposed, drawing James inexorably back into a ruthless African power-struggle.The story moves at a cracking pace with a good plot. The language is good: spare and purposeful; there is a general absence of cliché and overblown metaphors. Places in Libya and Botswana are brought vividly to life.
The author served in the B.S.A.P during the Rhodesian conflict.
ISBN 1412020778, 2004. Paperback, 348 pages.~Trafford Publishing, 2004.
ISBN 0 620 20913 5. Paperback, 348 pages.

About the Book


And despite his best intentions to stay faithful to Eve in their turbulent marriage, charismatic pilot James Hacking is constantly drawn to beautiful women and they to him. Outwardly easy-going, his philandering nature usually gives in to temptation. A veteran bush-fighter of several bloody African conflicts, James served in the Rhodesian war which saw the former British colony become Zimbabwe.

He is reluctantly drawn back into the muddy waters of African politics when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is deposed by James's hated adversary from the bitter Rhodesian battle-zones, General Spencer Katsiru. Under the new dictator savage repression worsens, and the policy of 'Land Reform,' the seizing of productive white-owned farms, turns the former 'bread-basket' of Africa into a crippled economic basket-case.

Millions face starvation as James tries to avoid getting too involved, and his flying skills take him from the southern tip of Africa to the north, flying in Libya as one of Colonel Gadaffi's 'Technical Mercenaries.' A guilty conscience about Zimbabwe's predicament and strong personal friendships finally lure him back, and as the country faces the threat of all-out civil war James is forced to make a dreadful choice.

About the Author
Gordon Orr is a keen mountaineer who has climbed in Africa, Britain, Europe, Canada and the Himalayas. He served during the Rhodesian conflict in the B.S.A.P. and in Britain, Germany and Northern Ireland in the R.E.M.E. He is an active pilot and holds a British PPL.

Excerpts from the book
Zimbabwean football captain Elias Mpofu was drawing to the end of his speech. "I stand here today as a Zimbabwean, not a Matabele or a Mashona, though the blood of both tribes runs in my veins. The colonizing Europeans drew our borders arbitrarily, lines on the ground that took no notice of geography, heritage or ethnic grouping. We were oppressed but uniting together we threw off our foreign masters, then fell immediately to tribal squabbling. Having come so close to greatness, in the ten years since we have dissipated our national strength in political and military skirmishing.

Yet within our borders lies a natural paradise unmatched anywhere, benign in climate, rich in natural resources, full of beauty and capable of sustaining us all in comfort. What we have to grasp is that to live within these borders is a tremendous privilege, that to be a Zimbabwean, is a tremendous privilege, against which petty differences of tribe or race pale into insignificance.

Mashona, Manica, Shangaan, Matabele, Portuguese, Afrikaans, English, Indian, it doesn't matter. If you make your home here you are Zimbabwean. Let us grow up, grow together and start showing the world that Zimbabwe is a great Nation, not just a great football team!"

General Spencer Katsiru pushed himself angrily up off the couch, snapping off the television to silence the sound of euphoric applause.

"He did nothing to throw off our 'foreign masters!' I knew him at school and afterwards, while I was living in the bush like a dog and fighting Ian Smith's regime, he was studying at University and poncing about on the football field. This guy is really beginning to annoy me, I must do something about him Isaac. I didn't get rid of Mugabe just to be sidelined by some clown who can kick a football, especially a Matabele Hyena. I've earned my place at the top and I intend to keep it."

The Police Commissioner stirred uneasily on the sofa. "You could win the election despite what the polls imply. After all, you rescued the country from Mugabe when he insisted on retaining power and you're a hero from the Rhodesian war."

The Cessna touched down, bouncing and rocking, then turned and taxied quickly back towards Simon.

Elias and Primrose stood nervously a few yards behind him, along with two other adults. James couldn't see any of Simon's dissidents but he assumed they were there, guarding the field. It was very hazy and the sun was a red descending orb beyond the gum trees.

James cut the engine, climbed out and ran round the nose of the aircraft.

The heavily-built Police Inspector shook his hand. "Good to see you again James, there are four packs, can you take them all?

"Yes Simon." He looked at the passengers. "Hello again, Elias. Give us a minute to refuel, we need to hurry! Deon, pass me up the first drum will you?"

He clambered onto the wing and knelt beside the port filler with a funnel, as Deon hefted a plastic container up, grunting under the weight. James began glugging the Avgas in, and as he poured the last drops from the first plastic barrel, his ear caught the faint thud of rotors. He caste the container down into the dust and stood up on the wing.

"Simon, Deon, choppers! There's no time to refuel, get the packs in, get them in."

James jumped down and saw Deon leaning into the cabin, undoing the ropes tying down the remaining fuel, the passengers hovering worriedly behind him.

"James, I'm going to dump these drums to save weight!"

"Leave it, there's no time and I think we'll make it. I'm cranking her now, get everybody in, and tell them to sit as close behind our seats as they can get, she'll be well tail-heavy otherwise."

The engine started, blowing straw and dust about. The frightened African fugitives climbed in onto the bare aluminium floor and huddled up against the front seats as Deon slammed the door, struggling with his harness. Simon doubled round the back to James's side and the pilot cracked the door open, lifting his earphones so he could hear.

"You might need this" shouted Simon, passing in a folding-butt Kalashnikov and a webbing pouch of magazines. "I'll radio my men, they'll switch on two torches to mark the end of the runway when you start to roll."

"Thanks. You better get out of here yourself Simon, before that fire-force arrives."

James made a saluting gesture to the Inspector, selected ten degrees of flap for a short-field take-off, poured on full power and set the Cessna 182 rolling, it's constant-speed prop snarling powerfully in take-off pitch. Simon was as good as his word and two lights flicked on, faint in the darkness several hundred yards ahead.

"Engine t's and p's look good" called Deon who sat tensely, willing the airspeed to rise.

"We're not going to make it!" he muttered several seconds later as the Cessna careered along the bumpy field towards the wall of black trees in the gathering darkness.

James pulled back on the yoke as they drew abreast the torches and hefted the Cessna into the air, the aircraft feeling heavy and unresponsive. He lowered the nose slightly and made for a gap in the trees ahead. They cleared them with a few feet to spare as the dark shape of a helicopter hurtled past in the opposite direction, flame sparkling from the twin 7.62 machine guns in the door. There was an odd sort of plunking noise as the Cessna took hits but she kept flying. There was a sudden strong smell of fuel.

"Shit, where's it coming from?" James shouted as he and Deon craned their necks round, looking for damage.

"There!" shouted Deon. "They've punctured the starboard wing-tank, there's fuel pissing out!"

James reached down and turned the tank select lever from 'both' to 'left', looking round frantically for the other aircraft. It had turned and was pursuing, out to one side and slightly higher to bring the door gun to bear but their speeds were matched once the Cessna hit full wack at a hundred and forty knots. The helicopter was two hundred yards behind but it wasn't gaining.

James kept the Cessna suicidally low, pulling up over obstructions but keeping as close to the dark earth as possible, both for concealment and so he would see the thin and deadly strands of the power line against the remaining light in the sky. He spotted the lines ahead and steered between the pylons and below the high tension wires. The helicopter tore right into them and exploded before it hit the ground. The yellow flash illuminated the cockpit briefly.

"Nice one Cyril!" whooped Deon.

"Don't get too happy yet, take the controls while I work out where the hell we are."

James checked their position on a radial from the VOR at Bulawayo airport and found they were almost on top of it, he could see the runway lights twinkling so he decided to go southeast to skirt the city and then turn back west for Botswana. He began to fret about the fuel available in their remaining tank. The aircraft was loaded beyond it's max all-up weight and required high throttle-settings.

The pilot of a Zimbabwean Air Force jet-fighter interceptor, call-sign Amber-two, was patrolling inside the border near Plumtree. The aircraft was a Chinese-manufactured F-7, a copy of the Russian MIG-21, capable of 1,175 knots.

The glint of moonlight from something far below caught his eye. Turning towards it he saw the pale crucifix form of the Cessna showing up clearly in the moonlight against the dark backdrop of the bush beneath it. He pushed the nose over into a steep dive and checked his two thirty millimetre cannons, angling the airplane to remain out of the Cessna's field of view, coming up from behind on the starboard side. The pilot's orders were to carry out a standard intercept of any suspicious aircraft, attempt to turn it back and force a landing, failing which it should be destroyed.

The F-7 fired a burst and James jerked his head to the right, noticing the dark sinister shape for the first time. "Oh shit, guys, looks like our luck finally ran out. Jesus that thing's big, and it's got missiles on the pylons!"

There was a cockpit light on in the big jet. Deon was peering across at the fighter pilot who made a circling motion with his finger, pointed back into Zimbabwe and then at the ground.

Elias crouched awkwardly upright, half-squatting behind them, bracing himself against their seat-backs and peering out at the moonlit sky.

"What shall we do James?"

"We'll keep going; fly slower Deon and descend, we're not far from the border. He'll have to accelerate or stall, and by the time he can turn and come back we should be in Botswana. I'll call Francistown."

James didn't believe it himself but anything was worth trying.

Five thousand feet above them the pilot of another F-7, Amber Lead, was patrolling north towards Plumtree and watching the situation develop.

North of Bulawayo, the fire-fight at Pampoenpoort had come to nothing, the Matabele dissidents escaping, under cover of darkness, as the Cessna departed. General Katsiru paced in the Nkomo Barracks control room outside Bulawayo.

"Still nothing on radar?" he barked.

An Air Force officer spoke into a phone and shook his head.

"Well what about the fighters patrolling the border, any report from them?"

"Standby Sir."

Amber-lead heard Amber-Two begin a call to base. He pushed his transmit button and jammed the airwave. Amber-Two tried calling three times and hearing no reply, circled ahead of the Cessna, which had ignored his instructions. He prepared to engage and destroy it.

In Francistown, the duty Air Traffic Controller was smoking a fag on the balcony outside the control room and looking forward to knocking off. The radio crackled. He flicked the butt into the night and went inside.

"Aircraft calling Francistown, say again."

"S-GYAV is a Cessna 182 inbound from Tutume to yourselves," replied James "currently forty miles north, request joining instructions please."

"Copied. Continue approach and report abeam Siviya."

"Wilco" replied James, pulling a face at Deon.

"At least I bloody well hope I will. What's our friend doing? Shit, this doesn't look good!"

The Fighter was boring in from their two 'o' clock and as they watched, blue fire winked at the leading edges of the wings. Tracer rounds appeared to arc lazily towards them before flashing wide at enormous speed.

Back in Bulawayo General Katsiru's irritation was growing fast. "Well? What the hell's going on? Have they seen anything or not?" he thundered impatiently.

The other officer screwed up his face in a pained way, straining to hear the voice on the phone, covering his other ear and turning away from the General.

"Holy shit!" shouted James as a second F-7 screamed over the top of them, firing a rocket which blew the first apart in a thunderous detonation of fire, black smoke and flying debris. "The stupid bastard has hit his mate!"

Deon's voice was hoarse as the Cessna wallowed through the turbulence. "He's turning and coming back, we've had it, he won't miss twice."

The bigger aircraft banked steeply and tucked in beside them, cockpit light on. The pilot dropped his mask aside so they could see smiling white teeth in his black face. He produced a torch and began flashing it into their cockpit.

"It's morse code" said James, turning to a blank sheet of paper on his kneepad, writing awkwardly, without looking, while he watched and decoded the flashes.

"What the hell's that nonsense?" asked Elias, peering over his shoulder at the untidy message.

James grinned up at him. Scrawled on the paper were the letters LIASFORPRESIDENT. "I missed the first letter out, but I think you've just received your first vote Elias. Congratulations!"

They waved vigorously as the Fighter pilot rocked his wings, gave an ironic salute and peeled away.

Elias had been quietly cremated in Bulawayo but Primrose held a memorial service for him after the elections, in a nondescript Midlands town called Kwekwe.

People travelled to the dusty little place all day, arriving on trains and buses, in cars, ox-carts, bicycles and on foot, the crowd swelling with every passing hour. In the afternoon as the sun was sinking red towards the west, Primrose mounted a rickety, makeshift podium. Looking down at the silent audience, numbering tens of thousands, she began.

"Thank you all for coming. I have chosen to bring my husband's ashes here because Kwekwe is closest to the very centre of our country, equally accessible to all tribes and races. I am going to speak in English because it is a language most of us understand, and I do not want to be accused of tribal bias. I want to be heard by all Zimbabweans."

Her clear voice carried well and she raised it slightly.

"In South Africa Nelson Mandela is free at last, and his country is closer to liberation. Throughout the dark years of his imprisonment, his wife Winnie stood by him, and I pledge, following in her shoes, to take up the mantle of my husband, to fight for you, the people of this wonderful country, until we are also truly free. Able to sleep in our homes and walk in the streets without fear.

Elias Mpofu was Africa's latest Patrice Lumumba, whose valiant, defiant, immortal words to his manipulating Belgian oppressors I would like to remind you of now."

Primrose paused briefly before continuing.

"Lumumba said, 'We have known harassing work, exacted in exchange for salaries which did not permit us to eat enough to drive away hunger, to clothe ourselves decently, or to raise our children as dear to us. We have known ironies, insults, blows that we have endured morning, noon and night, because we are negros. We have seen our lands seized in the name of allegedly legal laws, which in fact recognized only that might is right. We will never forget the massacres where so many perished, the cells into which those who refused to submit to a regime of oppression and exploitation were thrown.'"

Primrose paused again, a long silence during which not a breath disturbed the silence. She finally exhaled herself, a gasping lungful of air.

"And look at us now, thirty years later. Land is being seized and people are being beaten, imprisoned and massacred. Millions have insufficient to eat as a result. Those words could have been spoken today, by my husband, and the only difference would be that our oppressors are now black! We can't blame the Europeans any more, this is the doing of our own kind! The hope that Elias, a fair, kind and honest man would be elected and help us to throw off our chains is stillborn, strangled at birth by deceitful, malicious men who care only about themselves.

Surrounded on all sides by treachery and envy Elias, like Lumumba, has passed away in a grubby act of bloodshed. A government is unjustly in power because people were so frightened by violence and threats that they voted against their hearts or not at all.

Let us never cease to demand the very right that our brothers fought for against white Rhodesia during all those long years, and which has been stolen again. The right to a genuine, unequivocal, one man one vote. Let us pull together steadily, without flinching, to uproot once and for all the evil nettles of greed, self-interest and fear which blight our Land."

There was a stirring, a low growl of anger and assent from the massive crowd as Primrose continued. She was talking to herself, as much as to them.

"I studied the work of William Shakespeare at school and since my husband was killed, lines from Shakespearean plays run endlessly through my head.

In one of them, a Roman called Mark Anthony spoke on a similar occasion to this, the murder of Julius Caesar, his country's Leader.

Mark Anthony said 'The evil men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.'

I say to you, let Elias's good not be buried, and let not the evil of his murderers live after him. Elias Mpofu told us that to be a Zimbabwean is a tremendous privilege, against which petty differences of tribe or race pale into insignificance. Mashona, Manica, Shangaan, Matabele, Portuguese, Afrikaans, English, Indian, it doesn't matter. If you make your home here you are Zimbabwean. Let us remember that, and start showing the world that Zimbabwe truly is a great Nation before we bury any more of our husbands, sons, wives or daughters. If someone tells you with a sneer, 'so and so is a Makaranga from Gowke,' say no, he is my brother, from Zimbabwe.

Don't let evil people divide us, pitting tribe against tribe and white against black. Don't behave badly just because it seems to give you a small advantage. Don't drag someone from their home, beat them or force them to say something they don't believe. Don't invade people's homes or farms just because they happen to be white, or black but richer than you. The government has already seized more land than it knows what to do with, and many farms were bought ten years after independence, by people who actually helped us in our struggle against the Smith Regime.

Like Elias, I will fight for justice and to improve the standard of living for all. Land for the landless, jobs for the unemployed, education for the illiterate, food for the hungry.

However it is vital that we obey the law for without it we will be like a pack of savage dogs, which is what some people in government want. While we are so occupied they can do whatever they like.

In another famous Shakespearean play, a warrior called Macbeth was tricked by three witches into believing that if he killed certain people, he would become King, unless a number of impossible things happened, including a whole forest called Birnan Wood moving to a great castle called Dunsinane.

The witches also told him that he could never be killed by a man of woman born.

Accordingly he committed many murders and gradually the guilt drove him mad. One by one the 'impossible' things happened.

An army opposed to Macbeth cut the trees of Birnan Wood and carried them to Dunsinane. A man called Macduff who had been cut from his mother's womb, therefore not of woman born, killed Macbeth.

Sooner or later we must all answer for our actions, no matter how the witches of our conceit attempt to lead us astray.

Zimbabweans, together we are as a great forest and we too can move, onwards and upwards to a great future. We are all here to mourn and bury my husband. Rest in peace Elias Mpofu. Live in fear and madness you guilty murderers. Like Shakespeare's Macbeth you have been tricked by witches onto an evil path and you will have a terrible end. God bless Zimbabwe. God bless Africa!"

Primrose began to sing the African anthem Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and the vast crowd instantly joined in. The deep bass rumble of thousands of black male voices mingled with the tenors and sopranos of the women, to make a sound so powerful, so typically African and so hauntingly beautiful that people around the world wept as they watched.

~Grasping the Nettle|ISBN 1412020778|~283~11039~Grasping the Nettle, Gordon Thomas Orr~
Hatchings - John Eppel~It is New Year in Bulawayo, and anybody who is anybody is out celebrating. Based on Alexander Pope's dictum that "those who are ashamed of nothing else are so of being ridiculous", Hatchings sets out to ridicule people of all races who abuse power - behind the pulpit, the podium, and the paint brush. The navel, whose central metaphor is baby-dumping, is set on New Year's Eve for good reason: it's the time when powermongers are at their most self-indulgent, most exposed. It is precisely the time when we see how much alike they are. In Hatchings this similarity between the left and the right, between church and state, between black and white - so obsessed with their own moral worthiness, so quick to inflict their sanctimony on us all - is demonstrated by the fact that they all, quite literally, dance to the same tune.

ISBN 0-7974-3039-3. Paperback, 130 pages. Published amaBooks June 2006 (reprint).~Published amaBooks June 2006 (reprint)
ISBN 0-7974-3039-3
Paperback, 130 pages.

Hatchings was first published in South Africa in 1993 and is now re-published for the first time in Zimbabwe.

Hatchings was chosen by Professor Anthony Chennells in the Times Literary Supplement as his choice of the most significant book to have come out of Africa.

"Beneath the scurrility, this is a profoundly romantic novel. It tells of a touching love story between a young white couple who are saved from the prevailing Philistinism and corruption by two things - a love of English literature and a love of the Matopos."
Terence Ranger in The Zimbabwean Review

"Brutally funny - marvellous entertainment for all those who like their comedy black"
Shaun de Waal, Mail & Guardian

"The book is about exploitation, meanness; and it's about loveliness."
Southern African Review of Books~Hatchings|ISBN 0797430393|Hatchings|Z ISBN 0797430393|~283~11107~~
Hetty and the Earl - Vera Elderkin~This is a story based in southern Rhodesia in the 1950s. Young men, mainly the sons of the aristocracy who had misbehaved, were sent to the colonies by their families with the intention of "making men of them." Jack is one of these aristocratic sons who is sent to Rhodesia to work by his father. Jack meets a naive farmer's daughter named Hetty. He likes what he sees and takes her to his home in England where his father, the Earl, rapes her. She is too afraid to tell what has happened and tries to overcome the disgrace of it. She becomes pregnant with the Earl's child, but Jack is unaware of this and marries Hetty. Jack, though he is married, cannot contain his womanizing with dire results. Though this is written as a fiction, parts are based on the experiences of the author's husband's work in the British South Africa Police. The author was a farmer's daughter so many of the scenes in the book are drawn from her knowledge of farming methods in Rhodesia.
ISBN 1413777716, Paperback. 196pp.~~Hetty and the Earl|ISBN 1413777716|~283~11098~~
I Can't Walk Away - Ben Bezuidenhout~Terror stalks the land of Zimbabwe in 2000. The Henderson family is wiped out and their farm seized. It is left to Bradley Henderson to mourn his family, pick up the pieces and to seek answers to the brutal murders. When the answers are not forthcoming and the deeds are seen to go unpunished, he is forced to rethink and plan another way forward.
This book is dedicated to David Stevens and to those who lost their lives during the 3rd 'Chimurenga'.
Private publication. Softback A5, 75 pages. 2 photos, 1 map, 9 sketches/drawings.
NOTE - see 'Special Offers' section at bottom of this page if purchasing both books.

The author has written two non-fiction books - A Brick and a Tickey High and My Mothers Kitchen was a Baobab. Listed in Autobiographies.~Private publication.
Softback A5,
75 pages. 2 photos, 1 map, 9 sketches/drawings.

The Factual Background
When Robert Mugabe instigated the third Chimurenga (war) at the turn of the century, he unleashed thousands of war veterans onto the white farmlands in Zimbabwe and had the farmers evicted. During the course of this 'war' eleven farmers were killed. Many of them suffered indescribable torture and mutilation before dying. The killers of one farmer, David Stevens, drank his blood after torturing him to death. To date no one has been brought before a court of law in that country to account for the murders.

The Book
Terror stalks the land of Zimbabwe in 2000. The Henderson family is wiped out and their farm seized. It is left to Bradley Henderson to mourn his family, pick up the pieces and to seek answers to the brutal murders. When the answers are not forthcoming and the deeds are seen to go unpunished, he is forced to rethink and plan another way forward.

What is just to one person seems gross injustice to another. What one group considers evil is another's good. Is there no wrong, no right beyond the impasse of conflicting perceptions? When ordinary men and women - beyond political loyalties, beyond inherited culture, beyond ideologies and beliefs - see and know that certain kinds of deeds go unpunished, that the claims of justice and the rule of law are unheeded, then it is that some begin to dream that good will triumph over evil, a shining knight save the maiden, a new sheriff clean up the town, that sanity and truth will emerge from the primal terror that stalks the land.

Author's Notes
A friend, David Stevens, was one of the 11 farmers killed in the so called "Third Chimurega" in the early years of this Century. No one has ever been brought before a Court of Law for those murders so I decided to write about the incidents and in a way exorcise certain demons that I had stored up through the years. I wrote a fictional story about the Henderson family that is almost wiped out in this "war" and the one survivor who goes back and through the use of superstition, ancestral beliefs and a bit of luck manages to find and obliterate the baddies.
This book is dedicated to my friend David Stevens and to those who lost their lives.~I Can%27t Walk Away|X 9249|~283~12408~~
If I Should Die - Tom Hampshire~This is a story of Africa, shown at its most cruelest and tender moments. It is a story of violence set against the breathtaking beauty of the land, where cicadas sing their interminable song and elephants gambol in a mud hole. It is a story of vengeance and endurance. It is not a story of Black against White, but of the resistance to the winds of change; the drawing in an empires and the global trend towards righting past wrongs. It is a conflict where Sergeant Wilson and his men fight a war they know they cannot win, but they fight it any way, because it is their job. Appalling events personalize the conflict into a brutal and unremitting contest to the death between Sergeant Wilson and the leader of a terrorist band, known as 'Chaka', when Sergeant Wilson is then severely wounded and taken across the border for interrogation. Hopelessly in love, Sally Ferguson, with the aid of friends attempts to discover where Bob is being held, with the ill-conceived idea of affecting a rescue. She finds herself in a terrifying situation where as a frightened woman, kills and finally gives her life for the man she loves.....
The author served in the Rhodesian conflict as a reservist on border patrols and in the army's Marine Division, from where much of the material is drawn from.
ISBN 1412052548, 2001, Paperback, 232 pages.~Trafford Publishing
ISBN 1-4120-5254-8
232 pages; quality trade paperback

The Book
This is a story of Africa, shown at its most cruelest and tender moments. It is a story of violence set against the breathtaking beauty of the land, where cicades sing their interminable song and elephants gambol in a mud hole.

It is a story of vengeance and endurance. It is not a story of Black against White, but of the resistance to the winds of change; the drawing in an empires and the global trend towards righting past wrongs. It is a conflict where Sergeant Wilson and his men fight a war they know they cannot win, but they fight it anyways, because it is their job.

Appalling events personalize the conflict into a brutal and unremitting contest to the death between Sergeant Wilson and the leader of a terrorist band, known as 'Chaka', the best men each side has to offer, Severely wounded and taken across the border for interrogation Sergeant Wilson is beyond pain.

Hopelessly in love, the beautiful Sally Ferguson arrives in the same country and with the aid of friends attempts to discover where Bob us being held, with the ill-conceived idea of affecting a rescue. She finds herself in a terrifying situation. It is also a story of love and passion, where a frightened woman kills and finally gives her life for the man she loves.

The story is unremitting in its action and the saddest thing about it is that most of it could have happened. It is set in Nyanga, a make-believe country in Africa. But those who were there will know.

The Author
Tom Hampshire was born in Hampshire, England, where he spent his early years. After completing his education he served for six years in the Fleet Air Arm branch of the Royal Navy. Leaving the service he made his living for several years as an artist before moving to Southern Africa, where he worked as an engineer on various mines in South Africa, Zambia and Namibia, finally settling in what was then Rhodesia. During the Rhodesian conflict he joined the reserve branch of the security forces where he served in border patrol and in the Marine Division. It was there that he acquired much of the material for his first book If I Should Die. The war being lost, depending on which side you were on, he and a friend bought a 30-foot boat in England and sailed around the world for four years; a trip bedeviled by pirates and hurricanes. They were finally shipwrecked off the coast of New Zealand and had to work there for a year to repair the boat. They carried on to Australia where Tom's partner left him to return home. Tom continued on his own to South Africa and eventually back to Australia where he became an Australian citizen. His latest adventure was to walk from John O'Groats, in the north of Scotland to Land's End in the south of England, a distance of 1440km, which took him 46 days to complete. Tom has now retired to Lake Macquarie where he enjoys writing, painting, and walking. ~If I Should Die|ISBN 1412052548|~283~11040~If I Should Die, Tom Hampshire~
In the Shadow of the Tokolosh - Conrad K~Historical fiction by a former Rhodesian soldier
Four young men growing up in the wilderness, as the last remnants of colonialism in Africa. While the world and its attitude changed around them, they found themselves fighting to save their way of life, in a land that did not share their views or values. Set in the Zambezi Valley, where the white man made his last stand in Africa.

"The writer clearly has a deep love of Africa. His knowledge of the history, the cultures, the dynamics is second to none and he leaves the reader in no doubt that he knows what he is talking about... This is more than a story - it is a history, a philosophy, a way of life, a political debate - all rolled into one... The love and dedication that has gone into it is to be commended. Well done!"
ChrisCocks, author of bestselling book 'Fireforce: One Man's War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry' (2001).

2nd (Updated) Edition (Sep 2010). Paperback, 19.8 x 12.8cm. 282 pages~Historical fiction by a former Rhodesian soldier
2nd Updated edition (Sep 2010).
Paperback, 19.8 x 12.8cm.
282 pages

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

On the afternoon of the 11th November 2008, outside the Rotunda building at Johannesburg Station, a grey haired, old white man stepped off the bus from Zimbabwe. He looked down on his luck and bummed twenty Rand from a stranger to buy a meal. In return he offered a brown envelope. `Thank you my friend,' he said. `I want you to have this for your kindness. It's been my only comfort, but the words have become too much for me. Perhaps you'll find the strength to finish it.' His eyes had the look of elsewhere and he left the building without another word.

The envelope held a few tattered floppy discs containing word files and a couple of photos. Also included was a small crumpled piece of textbook writing paper, on which was written a note:

I am a soldier. I am not a writer. I don't know how to put the correct spin on every thought, in order to retain a universally shortening span of attention. But, even the dull and ignorant have their story to tell, this is mine. All I could hope, is for someone to mould my fumbling words and ensure that everyone gets a chance to read it. I want to paint a picture of an extinct place, so that those who never had the pleasure of seeing it, might enjoy a little of how it was, and those that were there will always remember...

...To the forgotten men of the Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR), Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI), British South Africa Police (BSAP) and Territorial battalions. We stood together, black man and white man, united against an evil foe. We knew what we were getting into, and that politics has little to do with truth and logic; the world didn't want us to survive. We were eventually forced to back down in a ****** little war, but never allowed ourselves to be victims, only proud, strong, young men, prepared to give it a go. The Selous Scouts and the Special Air Service (SAS) fought for the honour and the glory of it all. They won their battles and that alone was their reward.

But we fought for our country, our families, our homes and our jobs. These are all lost, yet please tell me, friend and foe alike, who did benefit? Thirty years later, in the hopeless landscape of a land that was so full of possibilities, there is no prosperity or dignity. There is no pride. We bore the brunt of the fighting and the cost of that humiliating end. The Military High Command made no provision for those who gave their loyalty and lives. In the end they just closed the doors and walked away. Now, as I see my ageing buddies, who couldn't make it back from the sharp-end on their own, forced to beg on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, I am filled with rage and I weep for them. If this story can bring you all a little comfort, some good memories or pleasure, if only for a day, I have finally won.

Efforts were made to find the author, but no one knew him and no one wanted to know. This then, is the story written by the unknown soldier... Conrad K~In the Shadow of the Tokolosh|ISBN-13 9780956561411|~283~13445~~
Invitation to Danger - Joy Maclean~This is a gripping, heart rending story of a fourth generation Rhodesian family as they lived through the perilous days of 1978 and 1979 when terrorists silently stalked through the wild bush, made ambushes, burned down farm houses, laid lethal land mines exploding to kill any unwary person, bombed shops, buildings and churches, and when killings and tortures were commonplace. It is a tale of true to life happenings on the ground to the ordinary black and white men and women as they watched as Rhodesia collapsed and Robert Mugabe's "Freedom Fighters" took over and Zimbabwe was born in blood and tragedy. This is not only an informative historical novel of tragic human events taking place as Rhodesia was being brought to its knees but it is also an excellent thrilling page-turning fictitious detective story of murder, greed and drug selling as this pioneer Rhodesian family becomes involved in the search for the identity of the murderer in the midst of the horrifying dangers of the terrorist war being waged against their country. Love and romance also winds through this brilliant story well told and exceptionally well written by an author of two historical books on Rhodesia published in 1974 (The Guardians) and 1985 (When the Going was Rough).
ISBN 9781906255053, 2007. Softback 364 pages.~~Invitation to Danger|ISBN 9781906255053|~283~12231~~
Jambanja - Eric Harrison~A memoir and personal account of a Zimbabwean farmer and the Land Invasions. This humorous and devastatingly poignant novel is a fact based story of a white African's agonizing battle to save his home, farm and family from brutal and intimidating terror attacks. A Major Work, exploring the collective character of a rebellious nation torn apart by racism and rationalization and offering an exciting insight into relationships between good governance and State sponsored thuggery and terrorism. The reader is taken into the story with such gut-wrenching reality, that putting down the book, is like fighting your way out of a vivid dream.
Eric Harrison 2007, Softback 216 pages.~Eric Richard Harrison, 2007
Softback, 216 pages.

Extracted from the book ....


Much has been written about the legalities of who owned the land shortly after the arrival of the first colonials. The commercial farmer in Zimbabwe, today finds himself in a situation very similar to that of countries like America and Australia, where settlers found that the local population lived a simple and. arguably happy life, oblivious to the ways of the "first world. '

It was natural then that when the colonials did arrive., they brought with them new ideas that did not exist before and hence, development took place at a remark-able rate. In every successfully developed country., land tenure is in place to enable the title owner to use his property as collateral. Without this, loans that enable the. fanner to develop his investment would not be made available.

In the year 2000, at a stroke of a pen, the President of Zimbabwe changed the Constitution, declaring, "the people of Zimbabwe have been unjustifiably dispossessed of their land.". In other words, that the land had been stolen and everything that had gone into developing the land - the years of work, sacrifice and involvement - counted for nothing, Shortly afterwards, he unleashed the war veterans onto commercial farms, unconstitutionally and illegally, forcing the farmers off the land.

This is a true story and like all stories. the storyteller is a part of it too. It is my story. my life but I have told it from the outside. It is a complex and difficult situation in Zimbabwe and I had to take a step back from the intensity of it all to give you, the fullest and fairest picture that I could, so you could make, up your own mind about the justice or injustices done in the name of 'land redistribution'.

There were over 4.500 commercial farmers, their workers plus families at the start of the land invasions.

4,500 stories - this is just one of them.

Eric "Harry" Harrison~Jambanja|8875|~283~11533~zimbabwe farm invasions, zimbabwe State sponsored thuggery terrorism~
Jaws of the Lion - Angus Hyslop~Rhodesia before Zimbabwe... Terrorist warfare, love and adultery, kindness and cruelty, trust and betrayal, attacks by wild animals on security forces and much more... Based on author's actual experiences.
ISBN: 978-0-6463-7959-3. 2nd Edition 2007. Paperback 370 pages.~~Jaws of the Lion|ISBN 9780646379593|~283~11685~~
King's Gold - Glenn Macaskill~Set against the backdrops of the genocidal massacre of thousands of tribespeople in Matabeleland by the notorious Army Fifth Brigade in the 1980s and, more recently, the tragic dark cloud which descended upon Zimbabwe in the year 2000, a roller coaster ride takes the reader through tribal superstition and legend, murder, courage and romance. Trevor Lawson and friends find themselves embroiled in political intrigue involving the CIA and other intelligence networks, the traumatic events of a nation on the brink of anarchy, and the exciting quest to unravel the secrets of a bygone forbidden treasure.
Written by a former member of the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe BSA Police, this work of fiction based on informative fact, is set in Zimbabwe and South Africa, firstly during the Matabele massacres by the Zimbabwe Army Fifth Brigade in the 1980s and latterly during 2000 when a tragic dark cloud descended upon Zimbabwe. It involves a search for an ancient King's relic amid traumatic events and political intrigue in the two countries.
ISBN 0-620-31002-2 Softcover, 320pp. Crest Publishing, 2003~Crest Publishing, 2003
ISBN 0-620-31002-2
Softcover, 320pp.


"It is against a disturbing backdrop that Glenn has set this story. As a long-serving policemen in the former Rhodesia, he has a depth of knowledge of the country and its people that gives his novel the depth, breadth and pace of a breaking news story the end of which will have to await history's judgement."
Last paragraph of the Foreward by Christopher Munnion (Africa correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph for over 20 years)

Glenn Macaskill publishes first novel…. Glenn, a member at Lombardy East Sports Club, was an officer in the special branch of the BSA Police in the former Rhodesia and his novel is based on his experiences pre and post Zimbabwean independence… King’s Gold is a topical novel about a hidden priceless relic and political intrigue in present day Zimbabwe.
Edendale News, Nov 2003

“Not a book for the faint-hearted… history is well researched and well written…book spans the history of Zimbabwe as a country and a people by using the activities of the protagonist Trevor Lawson, his travels, his search for an ancient treasure, and his many counterparts to tell the story… the writing is descriptive as he comes back to Zimbabwe after living in South Africa for many years… describes his feelings as he enters and what he perceives as changes from when he left… author does this with clear and well-written text…. uses slang related to Rhodesia but does not leave the non-Rhodesian out of the mix as he works the definition into the text… lends to an easier read for those unfamiliar with slang terms… after about sixty pages the plot begins to take a twist and we discover a group of people in various governmental secret agencies who discuss how to remove Mugabe from power… story lines in the book mix well… book is well paced and researched… only concern this reader had was the graphic descriptions of violence.”
Rhodesian Worldwide Magazine, 2004

“This first novel is described as an epic adventure midst the ruins of Zimbabwe… fiction with a strong basis of fact, chronicling the country’s decline under the despotic rule of Robert Mugabe… the massacre of thousands of tribespeople in Matabeleland is sharply painted… Trevor Lawson’s background in the BSA Police stands him in good stead in the gripping adventure he becomes embroiled in at the Zimbabwe Ruins… love interest is provided by Sally Romney, survivor of an attack on her grandfather’s ranch… in a strong sub-plot a group of politicians and government agents subtly plot Mugabe’s downfall… action is heightened by the discovery of an ancient relic and a daring scheme to get it out of the country… Trevor’s group hotly pursued by the government’s Central Intelligence Organisation… in the background farm invasions and violence are rife, routes are perilous and loyalties divided… well-rounded novel, however writing style is marred in some places by stilted dialogue and touches of naivety… because of the subject matter and setting I predict it will be a popular work with the reading public.”
Pretoria News, 2004

“All the ingredients for a good story and when fact and fiction are coupled, even if based on the so often inaccurate media reports, it becomes difficult for the reader to put them in their true perspective… author served in the BSA Police and is well placed to keep the story line in kilter… even when approaching the area of fiction, no doubt Glenn Macaskill was well aware that many of his readers would be in a position to express opinions on the possibility and probability of his story-line, so a jury was in place to ensure he kept within reasonable parameters… gold has provided many a foundation for authors for many years and presence of natural wealth does allow for the intervention of the major powers or their surrogates, the intelligence agencies, to become involved… whether this book is seen totally as a work of fiction, or fiction based on fact, even if the factual content is only a very small percentage of the total, it is still a worthwhile read…. King’s Gold might even provide a guideline as to what will be the future of that troubled land, Zimbabwe.”
African Armed Forces Journal, 2004

“Dear Glenn, I have now finished your superb book…. Couldn’t put it down and I equally did not do it justice in really absorbing all the facts and history you so carefully researched… on the other hand what I did know about past and more recent history was corroborated and amplified by your text… the book is a strikingly good adventure yarn which carried me along and reminded me of the old Rhodesian days… many memories which I have locked away were awakened by the book… so very many thanks for taking this effort, I suspect on so very many people’s behalf.”
Professor Ralph Edwards, Director W.H.O Sweden, 2004~King%27s Gold|ISBN 0620310022|~283~1434~King%27s Gold, Glenn Macaskill~
Land of the Long Grass - Marina Maxwell~A story based on facts - Central Africa 1880-1920. After a Basutoland battle, young Harrison Clark has a prophetic encounter with a dying chief. Later, erroneously thinking he has killed the husband of the girl he loves, he flees his home and heads for the lands north of the Zambezi. After an exciting series of adventures with his friend Nwata, Harrison reaches the Zambezi where he becomes chief Changa-Changa and rules a vast area. He has a dangerous affair with Bonita, wife of the slaver Matakenya, but he also still loves the white missionary, Venetia. Although Harrison rids the country of the scourge of Matakenya and other slavers, his rule is finally ended when Cecil Rhodes usurps his claims. Torn between two cultures, Harrison is forced to choose between loyalty to his people and his love for Venetia. This is a masterful novel - an evocative story of adventure, love and a quest for belonging. A blockbuster in the 'old fashioned' traditions of Michener and Ruark.
ISBN 0620260874, Covos Day 2000. Paperback 444 pages,~~Land of the Long Grass|ISBN 0620260874|~283~11269~~
Of Land and Spirits - Alan Thrush~Zimbabwe-Rhodesia - March 1980. In the pre-dawn gloom, Rhodesian Army units are poised to re-group and attack the assembled forces of ZANLA and ZIPRA. results of the British-supervised elections are seeping through: an overwhelming vote for Robert Mugabe. In camps across the country, twenty thousand guerrillas stand to their weapons, waiting for the frantan to come crashing and burning through the trees into hut, trench and bunker. Waiting for the soldiers, pouring down from the sky. This is the story of the five years leading to the birth of Zimbabwe - the story of Andrew Scott, George Sibanda, Kuretu, Mpehla, Hlomani and many others of the Rhodesian forces as they fight with great skill a war they cannot win. For even as the kills mount, so the numbers of the enemy inside the country grow even larger. It is also the story of Jason Mavunha and his comrades of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army. Jason joins the Chimurenga - the War of Liberation - after guerrillas have been surprised at his village .... leading to the deaths of his two brothers. This is the story of a white community wanting to retain its way of life, without realising the effect this is having on their sons who must carry on the fight. Of a black community whose sons serve on both sides, and which suffers reprisal and atrocity. Nowhere has the sheer weariness of war been better portrayed, with its numbing excitment. There is bravery, cowardice, comradeship and above all, the loss that comes from a civil war.
Although fictional, it was written by an officer in the Rhodesian African Rifles who saw service in all operational areas during the Rhodesian bush war and was decorated for gallantry. The result is that there is much authenticity in it. Both sides involved in the bush war are catered for.
......His descriptions of contact situations and the realities of conflict are horrifyingly graphic and absolutely authentic, even if his characters are fictional. The disruptive effects of the war on the social fabric of Rhodesia as well as the bonds formed by men under fire are faithfully depicted........It makes fascinating reading, this evocation of battle. Quite apart from the blood, sweat and terror that is almost tangible, the small details are intriguing. The use and effects of Rhodesia’s homemade napalm, frantan, the radio signals and codes, the types of grenades, the officer training courses, the helicopter support, types of land mines, all add to the pervading sincerity of the book. It is not verisimilitude, it is the ring of truth.......MJ Hurry, The Star, Johannesburg.
A timeless masterpiece.
ISBN 0 620 20913 5. Hardback. Size: 240 x 160mm, 408 pages.~Transition Publishing, 1997.
240 x 160mm, 408 pages.
ISBN 0 620 20913 5 Hardback


"Fascinating. Throbs with authenticity." John GordonDavis - author of
Hold my Hand I'm Dying
"Best of genre of the Rhodesian bushwar" - Citizen
"Recommended as a real contribution to the understanding ofthose turbulent times" - Star
"The finest piece of writing, novels or otherwise, on thefighting in the Rhodesian bush" - Personality
"A defining novel of Rhodesia's final years" - JamesMitchell - books editor,
The Star
"An undiluted reflection of the War of Liberation." -Sipho Ncube (
Chimurenganame Bazooka) - former political commissar, Zimbabwe People'sRevolutionary Army

Book Review. MJ Hurry, The Star, 24th March 1997.
Ring of truth in tale of bush war

Perhaps inevitably, now that the dust of conflict from the bush war in Rhodesia has settled, stories of heroism, hardship and suffering will begin to emerge. Alan Thrush has created a remarkable work, suffused as it is with personal experience, to a degree that writing it may have been almost cathartic.

His descriptions of contact situations and the realities of conflict are horrifyingly graphic and absolutely authentic, even if his characters are fictional. The disruptive effects of the war on the social fabric of Rhodesia as well as the bonds formed by men under fire are faithfully depicted.

His book evoked in me memories of that beautiful and peaceful land before UDI, with its magnificent farms, bustling capital city of Salisbury, and the remote far flung tribal trust lands where the villagers lived traditional pastoral lives. But his book is by no means a one-side white nostalgia trip. The overwhelming impression is that of the futility and suffering of war, its dehumanising effects, and of the respective and diametrically opposed viewpoints of the combatants.

White Rhodesians have tended to believe it was simply the brutal and bestial intimidation by the insurgents that cowed the local peoples into co-operation. Thrush points out the plight of the innocent tribal communities caught between this intimidation and the violence of security forces seeking information on guerrilla movements. A most interesting point, too, was that the insurgents had the support of the spirit mediums. The heavy rains during the period were interpreted as a sign of approval from the ancestral spirits for the struggle to regain land taken by force by the pioneers and later colonists.

Another authentic aspect is the political background with the role played by America’s Foreign Secretary Henry Kissinger, who forced the withdrawal first of the South African Police, and then of all South African aid. The reason given in the novel for this action was that the Rhodesian security forces were so efficient and their kill rate so high, that the United States feared a Soviet invasion of Angola and Mozambique to protect the insurgents. Whether this was America’s real motive is of course a matter of conjecture.

The dilemma of black members of the Rhodesian forces, regarded by many as traitors, especially the captured insurgents recruited into the formidable Selous Scouts, forms another aspect of the story. But the real strength of the book is its re-creation of conditions of actual war.

It makes fascinating reading, this evocation of battle. Quite apart from the blood, sweat and terror that is almost tangible, the small details are intriguing. The use and effects of Rhodesia’s homemade napalm, frantan, the radio signals and codes, the types of grenades, the officer training courses, the helicopter support, types of land mines, all add to the pervading sincerity of the book. It is not verisimilitude, it is the ring of truth.

The opening chapters set the tone. Branded indelibly in the reader’s imagination are the impressions of a young man, Andrew Scott, as yet without actual combat experience, lying cold and frightened in the night with his army detachment in the heart of the Rhodesian bush. With daybreak will come the heat and the pursuit of insurgents, the sweep. Trackers, flies, thorns, exhaustion and the ever present terror of an ambush. Tension. The sudden crackle of automatic fire, death and blood, anger. Radio contacts and welcome sound of the approaching helicopter gunships. Frankly, I do not believe Alan Thrush’s re-creation of conditions could be bettered.

I have only one criticism of this aspect of the novel. The book would have benefited from some omission of similar material, not because the description in any way falters, but simply that the impact of the main incidents would have been even greater.

Perhaps understandably, details of the insurgents and their camps, their commanders, and reactions to attacks, although accurate, are not as compelling. One insurgent, Jason, is motivated by the killing of his family by the Rhodesian soldiers.

Andrew Scott, the main protagonist and possibly the author’s persona, is well depicted. Some of the other characters are perhaps a trifle one-dimensional. The excitement and realism of the story more than compensate for these quibbles, however, and I recommend the book both as entertainment and as a real contribution to the understanding of those turbulent times.

TheCitizen %7E March 17, 1997

"Best of genre on Rhodesia bush war"

OF LAND AND SPIRITS, by Alan Thrush (Transition Publishing)

Rhodesia’s vicious bush war has attracted authors’ attention far beyond a level justified by the event, and 17 years after the birth of Zimbabwe it could be expected that interest in the subject is flagging.

If this causes anyone interested in the country, guerrilla warfare and indeed the development of modern southern Africa to skip this book it would be tragic.

Alan Thrush, a temporary captain in the Rhodesian African Rifles by the end of the war, has produced the best of the genre.

He writes skilfully from personal experience that lends strong credibility to a work that he protests is pure fiction.

There’s everything here. Although centred on the war, Thrush brings its effects on mothers and fathers, wives, lovers, the economy and the whole social fabric of a country in turmoil into fine focus.

The escalation of political pressure on the Rhodesia Government from the US and Britain, mainly through South Africa , as events move towards the climax is accurately, if economically, drawn.

The mounting uncertainty of the civilian population denied full knowledge of events in the operational areas and in Zambia and Mozambique, comes through clearly and sympathetically.

Lonely wives drift into pointless affairs, and parents constantly agonise about staying or emigrating. Business winds down, farmers retreat behind electrified fences and sandbagged windows and doorways.

And still the pressure on an under-strength army mounts. Fire force deployments, once limited to perhaps twice a week against five-strong guerrilla groups, increase to three to five times a day against groups of 50, 60 or more.

Thrush writes incisively of the military operations, but he avoids the trap of dwelling too much on the atrocities of both sides.

That has been amply covered elsewhere.

He also portrays with understanding the intolerable pressure on the rural Blacks in operational areas, the too vulnerable victims of the security forces, Mugabe’s ZANLA and in some regions Nkomo’s ZIPRA.

The conventional wisdom in Zimbabwe of the late 70s was that escape to South Africa - the only alternative for most Whites - was pointless, because inevitably the conflagration here would be much worse when it finally came.

The real miracle must be that South Africa avoided that fate. Thank God.

Ian Smith

CapeArgus %7E 4 June, 1997

"An authentic novel of the years whose birth pangs brought forth Zimbabwe"


Alan Thrush (TransitionPublishing)

"The proud green-and-white of the Rhodesian flag - those bright, brave colours that inspired a tiny nation through so many difficult years - were lowered for the last time. Rhodesia had gone forever. As the flags fluttered down in the warm breeze of another hot, humid day, the Latin words of the national crest faded forever into history: Sit Nomine Digna (Let her be worthy of the name). There were few who questioned whether she had."

This novel is set during the five years leading up to the birth of Zimbabwe. Although fictional, it was written by an officer in the Rhodesian African Rifles who saw service in all operational areas and was decorated for gallantry. The result is that there is much authenticity in it, although at times it is a little "over the top".

Both sides involved in the civil war are catered for - both sides were weary of fighting one another. The eventual outcome was really a forgone conclusion and in retrospect we, in South Africa, can be thankful that transition in this country was not accomplished through a bloody war.

An entertaining, though sad, read.

Denton Tee

~Of Land and Spirits|X ISBN 0620209135|Of Land and Spirit|S ISBN 0620209135|~283~1437~Of Land and Spirit, Alan Thrush, ZANLA ZIPRA, Chimurenga War of Liberation~
One Commando: Rhodesia's Last Years: The Guerrilla War - Dick Gledhill~A gripping, semi-autobiographical account of the elite Rhodesian Light Infantry during the last years of white rule, by a man who served in the ranks of its 1 Commando.
Vastly outnumbered, Rhodesia's security forces held at bay tens of thousands of communist-trained, armed insurgents who poured into the country from neighbouring black African states. Rhodesia's war took a long time to arrive. But, arrive it did and after only eight short years, its swift savagery accounted for an estimated 40,000 lives. History revisionists have ensured that Rhodesia's fight against communist terrorism has been labelled an "anti-colonialist struggle" with strident apartheid overtones. The publication of "One Commando" is the culmination of unsuccessful efforts over five years to have the book accepted by publishing houses. In their opinion, there is no longer any interest in Rhodesia, or the events of that era. Dick Gledhill's fictionalized account of his service in the elite parachute battalion is one of the earliest accounts of a momentous period in contemporary African history that dares to differ. He speaks from experience... for he was there. A cracker of a story, during the height of the guerrilla war. action-packed all the way. Well balanced and intriguing.
With Forward by Lt-Col Ron Reid-Daly
Book status: Out of Print. First self-published in 1997 as One Commando: Rhodesia's Last Years & the Guerilla War It Never Lost. Reprinted with revisions by Covos Day 2001
ISBN 10 1919874356. Covos Day 2001 (revised edition). Softback 218 pages.~~One Commando|ISBN 10 1919874356|~283~12730~~
Operation Hurricane - Barry Wardle~The White African farmers work hard on the land they love and call home. The black countrymen have trained to become terrorists, intent on recovering the lands of Rhodesia. It is a dangerous time to be white, or work for a white farmer. The author, who had served in the Rhodesian Police Reserve and later the Police Anti Terrorist Unit, draws you into the lives of those closely involved in the continual conflict. The terrorists, intent on revenge, and how they came to believe in their cause, and the white farmers who have known no other life, refuse to give in to the brutal attacks on themselves and their families. An exciting, gripping story that leaves you uncomfortable in the knowledge that it really is happening out there.
ISBN 1843861925, 2005, Paperback~~Operation Hurricane|ISBN 1843861925|Operation Hurricane|8917|~283~11043~Operation Hurricane, Barry Wardle~
Out of Shadows - Jason Wallace~'If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?' 'No, sir, no way!' 'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then?' Zimbabwe, 1980s The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and the start of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on ...white boys who want their old country back, not this new black African government. Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning Ivan. For him, there is still one last battle to fight, and he's taking it right to the very top.
Jan 2010. Paperback, 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm. 320 pages.~~Out of Shadows|ISBN 9781849390484|~283~13355~~
Red Zambezi - Joe Hale~Published / printed once only in 1989 on a very small print run. Red Zambezi was written by an American mercenary Colonel Joe Hale, who had been hired by the Rhodesian government during the early stages of the escalating Bush War. Joe, an Vietnam war vet went very high up in the Rhodesian chain of command, dealing directly with Ian Smith, Ken Flower, General Walls and others. Active on the combat front and possessing a valuable foreign passport during the hard times of sanctions, he fulfilled some unusual and interesting duties and had many adventures including being hunted in London whilst on a covert mission for the Rhodesian government. After much persuasion from his friends on his return to USA, Joe put pen to paper in 1988/9 to record his memoirs and adventures - it was hoped that writing the book would exorcise the demons he was carrying around - the book was very painful to write by all accounts, but did help in laying things to rest.

The result was a story based on Joe's rather extraordinary life, weaving his life into an action-packed novel - a wild ride through fire fights, ambushes, deep penetration cross border raids, assassination attempts, political skullduggery and the murky world of intelligence operations. The book has been written in a viewpoint style of the author, so you sense the anger and sadness throughout the book, it is a very touching and gripping read.
Includes a 17 page appendix detailing weapons in use by the Rhodesian Army and the opposing terrorist groups at the time.
ISBN 187778107X, 1989. Hardback 217 pages. (very scarce, very few new copies remain).~Red Zambezi is a novel about the fall of Rhodesia, the African country that is now Zimbabwe. It is a novel, but all the incidents described actually occurred and many of the characters are real people whose names have not been changed.

If you enjoy political intrigue, you'll find treachery on the grand scale in Red Zambezi. Ian Smith, Henry Kissinger, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe, Ken Flowers and General Peter Walls are among the participants in a tragic chain of events that led to the 1980 downfall of a fiercely independent nation. For the first time, the highly-placed traitor instrumental in the fall of Rhodesia is named.

If you enjoy combat action, you'll find riveting accounts of actual military battles, espionage, guerrilla warfare, counter-in­surgency and tactical planning. The ap­pendix contains detailed listings of wea­pons used by government forces and ter­orists.

If you enjoy a good story, the exploits of Vietnam combat veterans in Rhodesia will keep you turning the pages, for many American soldiers ventured to Africa after the collapse of Saigon to reclaim the honor they had lost in that ill-fated war.

Whether it's political intrigue, military strategy or action and suspense you're after, you'll find them all in this powerful story of the fall of Rhodesia. From sanc­tions-busting to global assassinations to hand-to-hand combat in the bush, Red Zambezi brings you inside a war the world doesn't remember and can't afford to forget.


"The story of Rhodesia's death agony is grim, and Joe Hale's anec­dotes do not make happy reading. But the story must be told."
"Red Zambezi is an account of Joe Hale's personal adventures in the fall of Rhodesia. He terms it a work of fiction, but each of the events he describes actually took place. . . ."
". . . I regard (this) book as a necessary contribution to our political, geographical and social awareness."
Jeff Cooper - Editor-at-Large Guns & Ammo

"Red Zambezi is more than the story of the death of a nation. It is a tale of proud soldiers, warriors and statesmen as told by a man who lived through this turbulent period of modern history."
". . . Red Zambezi reads like a fast-paced thriller and is historically accurate."
"The history of an armed conflict is almost always written by the victor and valuable facets are often omitted because of political ex­pediency. Though Red Zambezi was written as fiction, Joe Hale's asso­ciation with the Rhodesian Defense Force during this period qualifies him to tell the story. It's up to you, the reader, to determine if there are lessons to be learned."
Richard N. Anderson, Editorial Director - International Combat Arms

". . . Red Zambezi is a wild ride through fire fights, ambushes, deep­penetration cross-border raids, assassination attempts, political skull­duggery and the murky world of intelligence operations."
"Red Zambezi is more than just an adventure romp through the southern African bushveldt; it's an outstanding piece of historical fic­tion that throws more light on how war-time Rhodesia fought than most other of its more clinical non-fiction brothers."
"Where (the author) scores most highly in Red Zambezi is authen­ticity. His research is meticulous and his understanding of the Rhodesian scene - from weapons, units and tactics to government and intelligence operations - is unsurpassed. . . ."
John Coleman, Senior Editor - Soldier of Fortune~Red Zambezi|ISBN 187778107X|~283~12693~~
Rhodesian Dawn Zimbabwe Darkness - Tony Morkel (2nd Edition)~A well researched work of fiction - an emotional tragedy that has had to be written. The tales surrounding the birth and death of this nation, its people and rich resources are positively portrayed in simplicity. From the birth of Rhodesia to a wounded and festering Zimbabwe, the changing circumstance of every citizen has dealt a jarring, shattering blow to traditions, life and honour. The world looks on, and passes by. The people of Zimbabwe observe silently as all world leaders determine to assure that terrorism will never be beaten. The brilliance, strength and determination of that dying tribe of Rhodesians is possibly about to be buried. The stories move fast; events have been well detailed and include the rigours of emotional war and passions of ordinary people. This is an excellent tale of colonial reality as experienced at roots.~Sable Publishing House, UK. November 2004
Softback, 204pp.
ISBN 0954948807
So much is written about stress, syndromes, traumas and all manner of -isms that most of us are afraid to indulge our yearning for adventure. So it is a little shocking to read true-life tales of our romanticised notions of expeditions - except that in real life they are not so romantic or easy and hopefully we will never know what it feels like to be mauled by a lion or cradle your brother in your arms as he lies dying from a terrorist's bullet in the searing African heat.

This first novel by Tony Morkel is a factual account of triumph for human endurance and psychological strength in the harsh days of pioneering and colonising unexplored, dark Africa. We feel so safe in our civilised lives that it is hard to imagine the trials and tribulations of carving out a nation in deepest, wild Africa amongst the ferocious lions, charging elephants, searing heat and lonely isolation - not to mention witchcraft and customary African rituals. However, the author's descriptive writing style gives us an insight into events that shaped the collective character of a once great nation and takes us straight into the scenes with such gut-wrenching clarity that putting this book down is like fighting your way out of a vivid dream.

The tale starts in South Africa in 1896 with a 14 year old boy hitching up an ox wagon to transport maize through dangerous lion infested, malarial country to Rhodesia with only his dogs, a rifle and a few black employees where, after many such trips and adventures, he finally carves a little empire out of raw bush. The novel continues to take us through two generations of the family to the brutal bush war in Rhodesia and the point of black rule, describing the festering wound of racism and rationalisation that turned ordinary men into monsters committing unspeakable atrocities.

The love/hate relationship between black and white Africans in put into perspective in a humorous and often devastatingly poignant account of the author's own experiences and although all the anecdotes are true, the author's need to fictionalise names, dates and places is amply illustrated in the current Zimbabwe government's policy of repression and genocide today.

A fourth generation Zimbabwean, the author grew up with his father and brother on an isolated ranch where he lived and hunted the bush with black Africans, developing enduring friendships and learning their customs and culture. He received a privileged education at the elite St Andrews College in apartheid South Africa and grew up immersed in the Rhodesian political arena in a tumultuous era of the country's history.

The sequel (due Nov 2005), ZIMBABWE DARKNESS - THE ENEMY WITHIN is the inside tale of greed, privilege and events in the corridors of political power, revealing elements of Mugabe's influence and the instruments of psychological manipulation that have brought the nation of Zimbabwe to its' knees.~Rhodesian Dawn Zimbabwe Darkness Zimbabwe Darkness|ISBN 0954948807|~283~11002~Rhodesian Dawn Zimbabwe Darkness, Tony Morkel~
Scatterlings of Africa - Peter Davies~A "compelling, high-octane novel of racial, tribal and ideological conflict that will almost certainly draw criticism from the politically correct brigade," Scatterlings of Africa is a fast-paced thriller, set in Rhodesia's war against terror.
It's December 1972 and Lieutenant Ron Cartwright is obsessed with defending his country against insurgents in a vicious civil war. Comrade 'Gumbarishumba' Gadziwa is equally determined to win the fight for Zimbabwe to be restored to his people. While abduction, intimidation, torture and worse are going on in the war zone, the cities, towns and many farms remain safe, idyllic havens where Ron's wife Angela and their young children live in relative comfort. But the stress of their separate lives is taking its toll, and the arrival of Angie's cousin Mark, who she hasn't seen since she was a child, adds fuel to an already tense situation. The tentacles of war spread, plots cross, and life will never be the same again...
Peter Davies' writing style comes across as a fusion of Wilbur Smith and Chris Ryan; the love of Africa and it's people combined with the gritty reality of terrorism.He served as a territorial soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975. He saw action, and took part in captures and interrogation. This gave him insight into terrorist minds, many of which were successfully encouraged to 'turn' and fight alongside Rhodesia's soldiers against their former comrades.
ISBN 0955440904, Paperback Sept 2006. 343 pages~ISBN 0955440904
Literally Publishing, 2006
343 Pages

A "compelling, high-octane novel of racial, tribal and ideological conflict that will almost certainly draw criticism from the politically correct brigade," Scatterlings of Africa is a fast-paced thriller, set in Rhodesia's war against terror. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980.

It's December 1972 and Lieutenant Ron Cartwright is obsessed with defending his country against insurgents in a vicious civil war. Comrade 'Gumbarishumba' Gadziwa is equally determined to win the fight for Zimbabwe to be restored to his people. While abduction, intimidation, torture and worse are going on in the war zone, the cities, towns and many farms remain safe, idyllic havens where Ron's wife Angela and their young children live in relative comfort. But the stress of their separate lives is taking its toll, and the arrival of Angie's cousin Mark, who she hasn't seen since she was a child, adds fuel to an already tense situation. The tentacles of war spread, plots cross, and life will never be the same again...

About the Author

Born and raised in Africa, Peter Davies served as a part-time soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975. He saw action, and took part in captures and interrogation. This gave him an insight into terrorist minds, many of whom were successfully encouraged to turn and fight alongside Rhodesia's soldiers against their former comrades. Davies wrote his novel, Scatterlings of Africa using his own recollections of how the war was fought, and how it affected Rhodesia and its people.

Book reviews

"Former Rhodesia citizen and part-time soldier turned author Peter Daviesbrings his knowledge of that terrible period of war and rebellion intofocus with his novel "Scatterlings of Africa". It is a gripping suspensefilled story with everything from war, and carnage to love and romance. The writing is absolutely top notch. Davies captures the reader with awell-constructed plot, great characters and with just enough dialogs toadd to the great narrative. The book is riveting and shows all the hatredand anger of that time and place. The book may not be politically correctat times but it fits well with what the author is trying to convey to hisreaders. The book will keep you reading late into the night until youfinish it. It is highly charged with lots of action but the issues aboutrelationships and other personal things bring us a stronger and a moreprofound look at the people in his book. The story is easy to readphysically but emotionally it may stay with you long after putting downthis book." Bill McDonald, American Authors Association. Book rated as 5 star.~Scatterlings of Africa|ISBN 0955440904|~283~11318~Scatterlings of Africa, Peter Davies~
Seventh Floor Cupid - Anne Olsen~Anne Olsen who in the 1970's, ran one of Rhodesia's leading marriage bureaux tells how she has put her personal misfortune and experience to work in alleviating the heart-break of others. Quite often humorous, though mostly poignant, the 'case histories' of a great variety of 'star-crossed lovers' are unfolded, each one shielded by anonymity.
Black Eagle Press, 1980
Softback ISBN 0 949931 01 2
Hardback ISBN 0 949931 02 0~Books of Zimbabwe, 1980
190 x 130 mm, viii, 122 pp., 10 cartoons
ISBN (H/B) 0 949931 02 0, (S/B) 0 949931 01 2.
Anne Olsen who ran one of the country's leading marriage bureaux tells how she has put her personal misfortune and experience to work in alleviating the heart-break of others. Quite often humorous, though mostly poignant, the 'case histories' of a great variety of 'star-crossed lovers' are unfolded, each one shielded by anonymity.

There is the woman whose first pregnancy miscarried - to be told on recovery that she would not be able to have other children, whose husband, in his wild Latin grief, consequently rejected her; the over-sixty widower who was perturbed to think that his 'new' fiancee, a spinster, might be a virgin; the lovely trusting girl who was drugged at a party; a man whose prospective mother-in-law put a spanner in the works; the mother who plotted secrefly with 'Cupid' to find a partner for her jilted daughter; the young man disfigured by a land-mine accident; and another who was too good-looking for his own good; and the sad ones who realise too late that 'proving' their love and compatibility by living together just does notwork.

It is written in compassionate vein, with keen insight into human foibles, and with understanding of the problems of the lonely and of those in search of companionship. It is sprinkled with light-hearted passages and these are illustrated with Rose Martin's humorous cartoons.

"... a little book that packs more human emotion into its pages than most novels."

"Cleverly combining pathos with humour; the former journalist gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes picture of how people react to their contrived introductions in her role as Cupid." THE HERALD~[Select Edition]|!10914|Seventh Floor Cupid (S/B)|C ISBN 0949931012|Seventh Floor Cupid (H/B)|C ISBN 0949931020|~283~4791~Seventh Floor Cupid, Anne Olsen~
Smoke without Fire - Mark Charlton-Kings~Craig Dalton – a successful English vet, pilot, accomplished polo player, inveterate womaniser – enjoys an enviable lifestyle in Africa. When he falls in love with a beautiful American girl on safari, his world seems complete. But everything disintegrates when Craig’s past re-emerges to haunt him. Distraught, he returns to England where a serial killer, known as the ‘Bristol Beast’, is strangling young prostitutes. There, damning forensic and circumstantial evidence makes him the prime suspect. Yet this exciting story begins in Rhodesia and ends in today’s Zimbabwe, with a brutalised girl playing a pivotal role in Craig’s life. Seemingly unconnected events entwine into a complex story involving rejected lovers, obsessed policemen, teenage prostitutes, a brilliant barrister, an American philanthropist and a journalist with a sinister past. This gripping saga of love, hatred, injustice and revenge is set in Africa, America, Belgium and England, places that the author knows.
Lulu 2007. Paperback 326 pages.~~Smoke without Fire|8957|~283~11678~~
Storm Clouds Over Africa - Doug Cunningham~Storm Clouds Over Africa is set in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the story is of two boys, one a descendant of the proud ruling house of the Matabele, and the other, the son of a white settler, a pioneer.They grow up in paradise on a farm in the rugged Matopos area of Matabeleland. Their friendship develops and they declare themselves blood brothers, vowing that nothing would ever separate them.Their friendship is molten and forged in the crucible of innocence, but as time passes, the stones of prejudice and politics wear down their vow. One friend joins the freedom fighters, and the other enlists in the Rhodesian security forces. They are blood brothers no more.This is a story of Africa, a passionate story of survival, hatred and love seen through the eyes of both freedom fighter and white settler.There can be many types of storms, some physical, others arising from raw passions of betrayal, divided loyalties and prejudice. Then there is that most violent of all storms, that spreads like a dreadful disease and engulfs an entire country. It is a conflict that stems from the soul of two people who lay claim to a piece of land they both call home.The time spans early colonial days to the present land distribution issue and beyond. The book offers hope for the future presenting a bright ray of sun shining through stormy skies.
ISBN 9780981427515. Softback, 310 pages. ITEM CODE: SCOA~Osborne Porter, 2009

The Author
Douglas Cunningham was born in Umtali (Mutare), Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1943. In his early years, Doug spent much of his time hunting and exploring the wide open spaces of the African bushveld.

Raised in a relatively poor family, he started hunting elephant at 16 years old and selling ivory from 18. Although now a passionate conservationist, he has a wealth of stories to share, some of which have made their way into this book. This is his first book. The sequel to 'Stormclouds' is underway now.

Below are a few comments from those who have already read the first edition of which a limited edition of only 50 were printed:

"Uncle Doug (as he is fondly referred to) wrote this book by hand at a little table in our car park, whilst keeping an eye over his staff, who are contracted to clean our rental vehicles. I used to arrive in the morning and there he was with a friendly smile and a wave. Uncle Doug used to talk about his book and we dream of him one day becoming a world renown author. Well Mr Douglas Cunningham has realised his dream. By sharing his experiences of the liberation of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) through the eyes of the normal people. He has given us an insight we may never have had the honour to find. What I found amazing was the lessons hidden in the pages about the inner strength of the ordinary man and woman. Their hopes and fears and most importantly the determination of the human spirit. This is a must read and a story I want to share with everyone, not only because for the first time in my life I am able to discuss a book with the author, but also because the man behind the words has so much to offer. I have already ordered a copy of the sequel."
- Renette Van Der Merwe

"This book is for any child of Africa. A time in history is portrayed with brutal yet gentle truth. Resist the temptation to speed read to find out what happens and savour a journey well worth taking. I can't wait for the sequel...!!!"
- Candis Warren Beardall

"Wow, What a riveting read thoroughly enjoyed the book would recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet to read it, am looking forward to the second edition I hope there is one. I couldn't put the book down and when I did I couldn't wait to pick it up what a great and exciting book."
- Paula Hall

"What an amazing book...I haven't read anything like it before...and haven't been able to put it down!!! Definitely a worth while read.... In fact a MUST READ!!!"
- Sylvia Peattie Reed ~Storm Clouds Over Africa|ISBN 9780981427515|~283~12666~~
The Bleeding Mountain - Alan Mitchell~‘We now fight Mugabe’s police as well as his army.’ His tone changed and the words came out as a low growl. Campbell turned to look at him. The black face was now completely expressionless. It was not the Kumalo of old.
Philip Campbell - family man, pacifist and reluctant soldier - drawn through personal tragedy into a bitter conflict with an enemy he has never met, but who regards him with an equally impassionate hatred. Obert Chikaika - disillusioned citizen, and would-be general - forced into his own personal battle with an unknown adversary through ill-advised strategies and his own pride. Zimbabwe - a country in crisis in the years before and after independence. Set against the war of independence as Mugabe's army gradually takes control, and the descent of a once prosperous country into fear, intimidation and near-bankruptcy, this is the story of a very personal conflict in which there can be no winner.
2005. Softback, 390 pages~~The Bleeding Mountain|ISBN 9781411656246|~283~11661~~
The Claim Jump - Charles Bentley~This tale of contemporary gold panning embraces themes that touch us all. Greed, lust, ownership, yet through the dire circumstances portrayed in this novel, spring redemption and a state of hope. A modern day prospector out panning one weekend, discovers river gold. He stakes out a claim, and almost as if called, trouble approaches. Things suppressed in normal life, greed, lust, ownership, break to the surface. Issues of modern day life that touch us all. What happens when people, when whole cultures lay claim to the same thing.
ISBN 1412049628, Paperback. 100 pages (Reprint, 2005).~Trafford Publishing, 2004
ISBN 1412049628, Paperback. (Reprint)
100 pages.
Originally printed in South Africa 1995.
The story of a modern day prospector out panning one weekend, discovers river gold. He stakes out a claim, and almost as if called, trouble approaches. Things suppressed in normal life, greed, lust, ownership, break to the surface. Issues of modern day life that touch us all. What happens when people, when whole cultures lay claim to the same thing.

About the Book

The Claim Jump was originally published in South Africa in 1995. The publishing house that undertook the work was embryonic at the time. The author then moved to Ireland and for a long time circumstances mitigated against a reprint.

Convinced that it should be published internationally he finally had his works republished in the UK to bring it to a wider audience.

About the Author

Charles Bentley was born in England, but raised and educated in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). Schooled at Peterhouse, he was drawn inexorably into the bush war that raged at the time.Eventually leaving Zimbabwe, he traveled extensively yet always kept returning to his beloved country. Estranged in his own land, he now has a base in South Africa.

Excerpts from the book

~The Claim Jump|ISBN 1412049628|~283~11041~The Claim Jump, Charles Bentley~
The Curse of the Ripe Tomato - John Eppel~The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, John Eppel's fourth novel, is a hilarious send-up of the Enid Blyton adventure stories he, in the spirit of colonial education, used to devour as a child. But it is more than this. It mocks fundamentalism, racism, and pseudo intellectuality; it asks, in the most unlikely manner, for reconciliation among the blighted peoples of Zimbabwe.

Although some of the characters in this novel appear in John Eppel's earlier work ("D.G.G. Berry's The Great North Road", "Hatchings", & "Giraffe Man"), it can be read independently of its predecessors.
ISBN 0-7974-2349-4, Softback, A5, 104pp. AmaBooks 2002~~The Curse of the Ripe Tomato|ISBN 0797423494|~283~1440~The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, John Eppel~
The Golden Spiderweb - John Weeks~Africa with all the frills from earliest times to 1972. Historical romp from Somalia to the Cape and covering the Great Trek - hunting in the Okavango - and political intrigue and adventure. Based on the history of the gold trade through Africa into Zimbabwe.
Trafford Publishing, Oct 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1412095563. Paperback: 360 pages~Trafford Publishing, Oct 2006
ISBN-10: 1412095565
ISBN-13: 978-1412095563
Paperback: 360 pages

About the book
The book starts on the Ogaden Plateau in somalia and covers one of their major tribal leaders' journeys to Mogadishu and on to China and Macau. He meets with Da Gama's 'lost ship'. The captain of that ship (Alberto) forms a close bond with the Somalian and they set sail for Mozambique where they are shipwrecked.

They travel to the Zimbabwe Ruins and meet the Mutapa of the Karanga Dynasty who built Great Zimbabwe and form a strong paternship with them. The awful midget witchdoctor 'Chidoma' who masterminds the genocide of the Cushites has found the huge gold cache of the Cushite King in the ruins tower. The Cushites had used Zimbabwe Ruins as a gold trading post for dealings with the Arabs on the Sofala coastline. The captain of the lost ship, Alberto Fontes, who has fallen in love with the Sultan of Sofala's dancing troupe leader assists in hiding this massive hoard of gold on Zimbabwe's highest mountain. Many many years later the gold is rediscovered by the grandson of one of the heroes of the great trek, Corne Van Niekerk. His grandson decides to externalise the gold in a daring run through Mozambique. The book concludes in the Palace of the King of Basutoland and allows for a sequel up to and beyond present day times.

About the Author
Born in England, and at age seven came by ship to the Cape and has lived in Zimbabwe ever since. Had business interests in this country and in Mozambique and is fluent in the local vernacular. Served for five years in the British South Africa Police before joining his father in the engineering business. ~The Golden Spiderweb|ISBN-13 9781412095563|~283~11379~~
The Hippo Pool - Wendy Squair~Three brothers have spent their childhood in a rural village near the River Zambezi in central Africa. The Hippo Pool is a special place where they have always gone to fish and to confide in each other. Now Baba, their father, has fallen ill with a mysterious disease and nothing will ever be the same again. The brothers' lives are about to take vastly different paths. The youngest boy, Chikomo, is traumatised by a dreadful accident in a minefield, a relic from the liberation war. His older brother, Mahachi, works in tourism and begins to experience and savour the unfamiliar ways of the developed world, which does not always serve him well. Usai, the eldest brother, marries a young woman from the township, Nelisiwe, but she has progressive ideas that threaten to break apart the traditional village life they all value so much. Soon Usai begins to fear that his heart will be broken. In a story anchored in the village huts, involving tradition, family loyalties, betrayal, guilt and passion, The Hippo Pool encapsulates all the complex social dilemmas and opportunities confronting modern Africa.
March 2009. Hardback 213 pages.

Out of print, last few copies left in circulation. All copies in stock are autographed copies.~Reviews

I have now read your novel. Your book is a good read. The plot I found most interesting - the clash of western values and tribal values. Which will eventually win? Obviously tourism could have a great influence and of course it brings the troubles of civilisation. You handled this aspect extremely well. The characters were described in a way that you could relate to them, and have positive thoughts about their roles facing the increasing changes. With the world getting smaller through travel, the plane, culture shock is a two way process.
Your style brought out the speech patterns and in many ways the simplicity of the language spoken. They were believable characters and individuals.
Obviously the background, flora and fauna, greatly added to the book especially you had first hand knowledge. Breaking the book into 'short chapters' and intermingling the plot, added the reader to want more, what will happen? You need to know how or who will be affected and the result.
So it was a successful launch. Write another and I would buy it.


I read The Hippo Pool with reservation because I thought I might not enjoy it since it may take me back to the disillusionment so many of us felt on leaving the beloved country. Victoria Falls where the story takes place is a favourite haunt from when I lived there and this story is well written, nostalgic and a simple tale of when values were different from what they are now and I found it totally enjoyable even missing my train stop on the way home because I was so engrossed in the book. I could not put it down and truly enjoyed the story as it took me back to places I know and still love for the memories and simplicity of our lives then. Thank you very much and hope there will be more stories to come!!
I really recommend it.


I LOVED this novel and it felt like I knew these characters as Wendy had portrayed african life so well. I could NOT put this book down; the beautiful descriptions took me back to my homeland Zimbabwe - cheaper and safer than a holiday! If you enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith you'll LOVE this one. THANK-U for a BRILLLIANT book!Hurry up with the next one please.

~The Hippo Pool|ISBN-13 9781846243042|~283~13480~~
The Holy Innocents - John Eppel~John Eppel's fifth novel, another vicious satire, looks at the impact of ritual killings (or muti murders) on inhabitants of Bulawayo in the 1990's; a world of shallow image, church and club. It is a story of a secretive cult called The Holy Innocents. They meet in the bush in the dead of the night and perform horrific rituals, ostensibly in praise of God but actually to enrich and empower themselves. The leader of this cult is an expatriate English doctor, Lucius Pudding, who takes videos of the rituals and sells them all over the world. Furthermore, he does a roaring trade in human body parts with his colleague, traditional healer Kenneth Umsilawobi. Things come to a head when the owner of a South African football team orders body parts from a child who must be blonde and blue-eyed. This is an appallingly funny, but deadly serious, novel.
ISBN 0-7974-2394-X amaBooks 2002. 115 pages, A5 paperback ~amaBooks 2002
ISBN 0-7974-2394-X
115 pages, A5 paperback

A satirical novel about life in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, with clubs, cults and muti murders, and the exploitation of the poor and powerless by the rich and powerful.

"This extremely funny book rips into the patriarchal, postcolonial society of post-independence Zimbabwe in a parade of characters at once peculiar to Eppel and more broadly recognizable to society in Africa. … Its message and even its outcome are abundantly clear from the start. … To borrow from Shakespeare, there is something rotten in the state of Zimbabwe!" – Professor Rosemary Gray, University of Pretoria~The Holy Innocents|ISBN 079742394X|~283~1441~The Holy Innocents, John Eppel~
The Last Rhodesian Soldiers - Vera Elderkin~The Last Rhodesian Soldiers is a work of fiction based on facts during the last years of the Rhodesian bush war and shortly thereafter. It tells of the comradery of two soldiers, one white and one black, and a terrorist and his hate for these two men. Part of the story includes the background of the world renowned mounted infantry unit, the Rhodesian's Grey's Scouts, of which the author's husband was the riding master, leaving with the rank of captain in 1983. Vera Elderkin, born in the then Rhodesia, served with both the British South Africa Police (as an A Reservist) and for a short while, Zimbabwe Republic Police.~~The Last Rhodesian Soldiers|ISBN 1413745466|~283~10983~The Last Rhodesian Soldiers, Vera Elderkin~
The Lion Killer - Jim Woods~A suspense thriller fiction dealing with politically motivated assassination, the setting of which is Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United States - written by an expereinced big game hunter.
Lucas Mellor is a Texan and big game hunter recruited by Danie Schwardt, Afrikaner and safari outfitter, to serve as a hitman for the South African white-supremacist secret society, The Vengeurs (The Avengers). Lucas completes his assignment for The Vengeurs, assassinating an English attorney and black-rights advocate in one of South Africa's largest cosmopolitan cities. The hunter, Lucas, stalks his victim in the urban environment much as he stalks animal prey in the wilds. But the killing doesn't stop.
An opportunity occurs for Lucas to rekindle his past love affair with Elena, who is on a final safari in support of her dying brother, Raphael. Elena tries to enlist Lucas in the mercy killing of her brother, but Lucas refuses. Raphael does die in what is assumed to be a tragic accident. A subsequent turn of events causes Lucas to turn his assassination weapon on his former friend and hunting companion.

Author Jim Woods has written several books including Honk if you love Geese and Other Hunting Stories - a memoir of his world hunting experiences. (also available on this site)
ISBN 1413763464. (May 2005)~~The Lion Killer|ISBN 1413763464|~283~10997~The Lion Killer, Jim Woods~
The Merchants of Chaos - Rob 'Ralpapajan' Thurman~In 1978 a small contingent of Rhodesian Air Force pilots ferried 18 Cessna 337G air planes to the beleaguered country from Europe. This true event, which has never been published, has formed the basis for a story of how a group of pilots are able to ferry similar planes to South Africa to interrupt the investiture of the first black president of the Republic.
Lulu 2007. Paperback 207 pages.~~The Merchants of Chaos|8985|~283~11772~~
The Rain Goddess - Peter Stiff~In the late 1960s to early 1970s Peter Stiff was a senior officer in the British South Africa Police, Rhodesia. Internal insurgency combined with major armed guerrilla incursions from Zambia had commenced, but the government played them down to the public at large. In an effort to maintain public morale/ignorance only the police, and latterly regular army soldiers, were deployed on counter-insurgency operations. The government was determined to avoid casualties amongst young national servicemen.Stiff did not subscribe to the view that the public should be kept in the dark. After resigning his commission in 1972 he wrote The Rain Goddess, a 'fictional' account of the bush war based on his own experiences and those of his former police comrades. It was impossible to write it as non-fiction because this would have carried the sanction of a prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. The Rain Goddess served its intended purpose and alerted an amazed Rhodesian public to the undeclared war then raging on its doorstep. The Rain Goddess was widely recognised as the classic book on the Rhodesian Bush War.
5th edition, softcover; 256pp; 242 X 168mm; ISBN 1-919854-06-1~~The Rain Goddess|ISBN 1919854061|~283~1442~The Rain Goddess, Peter Stiff~
The Sweaties - James Scott~When the Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, declared UDI in 1965, his defiant stand against black majority rule marked the beginning of the end for his country. The fifteen years of bloodshed that followed brought the deadly bush war to the heart of the capital city, Salisbury, and the last line of defence, the BSA Police Swat teams - 'the Sweaties'. This is their story - a narrative of courage and resolution in the face of hopeless odds, mixed with cynicism and despair as they and the Special Branch struggle to stay on top. The Sweaties is a novel of war. It recounts in merciless detail the horror of Communist-backed terrorism, leading to a climactic show-down between a terrorist duo bent on committing the ultimate atrocity and the Police, desperate to locate and destroy them before it's too late. It is also the story of a country in its death throes.
The author (wrote under pseudonym) served in the BSAP between 1967-80, saw active service in all parts of country & retired with rank of Inspector. It is a fictional but very realistic story of the BSA Police special team - The Sweaties (similiar to an SWAT unit - its members trained more like soldiers rather than conventional policemen), an anti-terrorist unit operating in rural areas.There is fair authenticity and the book includes a glossary covering the slang usage at the time. A really enjoyable read. It is long at 409 large pages which is great and hard to put down.
ISBN 1843862468, Vanguard Press 2006, Softback 409 pages.

Book Status: This book is 'Out of Print' - 1-2 copies remain and is very difficult to find. Some signed copies have now been made available.~~Select version||The Sweaties|ISBN 1843862468|The Sweaties (Autographed)|ISBN 1843862468A|~283~11580~~
The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam - Lauren Liebenberg~Nyree and Cia live on a remote farm in the east of what was Rhodesia in the late 1970s. Beneath the dripping vines of the Vumba rainforest, and under the tutelage of their heretical grandfather, theirs is a seductive childhood laced with African paganism, mangled Catholicism and the lore of the Brothers Grimm. Their world extends as far as the big fence, erected to keep out the 'Terrs' whom their father is off fighting. The two girls know little beyond that until the arrival from the outside world of 'the bastard', their orphaned cousin Ronin, who is to poison their idyll for ever.
ISBN 9781844084685. Mar 2009. Paperback 19.6 x 12.6 x 2 cm . 256 pages.~~The Voluptuous Delights|ISBN 9781844084685|~283~12562~~
This Bleeding Piece of Earth - Ben Bezuidenhout~This is a very readable book about Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. The story centres around two men, friends from childhood, the one becomes a wealthy mining magnate and the other President of the country, Their lives are torn apart by the bush war that engulfs the land and their friendship is sorely tested. There can really be only one solution to the problem besetting the country. The love and the passion the author has for the land of his birth is noticeable. The pages echo this yearning and feeling for its people,the animals and the environment. The battle scenes are not pleasant but then no war is pretty.
Private publication, 2003. Softback, size A5, 107 pages.
NOTE - see 'Special Offers' section at bottom of this page~Private publication
Softback, A5
107 pages

A Reader's Review
This is a very readable book about Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. The story centres around two men, friends from childhood, the one becomes a wealthy mining magnate and the other President of the country, Their lives are torn apart by the bush war that engulfs the land and their friendship is sorely tested. There can really be only one solution to the problem besetting the country. The love and the passion the author has for the land of his birth is noticeable. The pages echo this yearning and feeling for its people,the animals and the environment. The battle scenes are not pleasant but then no war is pretty. The book races along and there are no dull patches. Ben Bezuidenhout must be congratulated for having tackled a book such as this.
John Wessels

Author's Notes
In "Bleeding" the true part is there was an Irishman by the name of George Nolan (Kelly in the book) who married a black lady, and they had quite a few coloured children. The family was well known by our family and as kids I played with the children and we all grew up together. George Nolan discovered Lithium and Beryllium ores in the area East of Fort Victoria and opened up a mine known as Bikita Minerals. These ores were found in only one other country in large quantities and that was Russia. Lithium is invaluable and required for the 'hot' areas of rocket engines to stop them from melting.

America did not trade with a communist country and so it is ironic that whilst America and the whole world was sanctioning Rhodesia, all the time America was buying our lithium for their space programme and if it wasn't for Rhodesia and her lithium ores, Armstong would never have landed on the moon. All of a sudden Nolan was stinking rich and he was able to send his daughters to finishing schools in Switzerland and so on. He built a mansion replica of the American White House deep in the bush outside Bukita Minerals and lived a good life there. When the children got married I played in the bands at the wedding ceremonies that were held at the White House. All that is true.

What is also true is that Robert Gabriel Mugabe was brought up in the Catholic faith and was taught his early education by Roman Catholic Missionaries at their Missionary Stations.

So here are these two great men (Kelly) who no one has really heard of and (Gabriel) who everyone has heard of. The fiction is these two were once friends and grew up together, one becomes a mining magnate and the other becomes a freedom fighter. With the end of the war there comes the time when the white farmers are required to hand over their land. Kelly and Gabriel come head to head on the matter and the story ends very dramatically in a way that is quite common at this moment in Iraq and India.

Extracts from the Book
When Patrick began to focus, he vaguely made out the lovely face staring down at him and smilingly welcoming him back to the land of the living. "I must be in heaven," he thought and this was an angel smiling down at him. But this was a black angel, and angels were all supposed to be white ..... not black ..... or were there black angels .....

Jacques had honed his skills through the years. He was very, very good. He could follow tracks virtually anywhere even across pure granite outcrops. His eyes saw the clues; broken cobwebs, bruised blades of grass, damaged termite mounds, the alarm calls of animals. If someone urinated on the ground he could age it by the state of the crust that had formed on the soil. The enemy was good - but so was Jacques.
~This Bleeding Piece of Earth|X 9250|~283~12405~~
This Promised Land - Wendy Wright~A coming of age story set in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe during the transition. Some called it the Promised Land – a Garden of Eden in the sunshine and open spaces of big game country, where a prosperous lifestyle was taken for granted. But the undeniable truth was that Rhodesia’s privileged lifestyle was not available to all. This story will appeal to people of all ages, but especially to those who have memories of Rhodesia, and of growing up there. It evokes the tastes, smells and fears of the normal people caught up in the circumstances of the war and the changes to the country.
ISBN-13 978-1-920169-22-0, Dec 2006. Paperback 386 pages~JDP Publishing
Cover Type Paperback
ISBN-10 1-920169-22-9
ISBN-13 978-1-920169-22-0
No of Pages 386
Size A5
Publication Date 1 December 2006

Some called it the Promised Land – a Garden of Eden in the sunshine and open spaces of big game country, where a prosperous lifestyle was taken for granted. But the undeniable truth was that Rhodesia’s privileged lifestyle was not available to all. Prejudice and misunderstanding lurked beneath the idyllic surface and, inevitably, Cecil Rhodes’s own small piece of Empire was dragged into a bitter war from which it emerged as Zimbabwe.

Surrounded by her parents’ staunch support of Ian Smith’s government, Tessa Harmand’s childhood is remote from the injustice and the first whisperings of the guerrilla war. With no concern for the complicated affairs of adults, she lives only to indulge her passion for riding ponies in between school hours. The crisis developing from the stalemate negotiations between the Rhodesian Front and the British Government are of little importance to her as she learns to master the skills of equitation with the aid of her friend and mentor Gill Owen.

But the intensifying war eventually threatens to undermine the comfortable naivety of her world - classmates’ farms are attacked by infiltrating forces, compulsory conscription eventually catches up with her own family, close acquaintances are injured or killed in action. In class, the children are taught weapon recognition and bomb drill procedures, while petrol rationing and commodity shortages become an inescapable part of life. Friends soon begin to vanish via the departure lounge or the border post with South Africa.

Tessa’s patriotism for Rhodesia begins to wear thin as the cruel war erodes the country’s manpower and resources. She begins to question her parents’ conservative views as the inevitable end of white rule approaches.

When Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party claims an overwhelming victory in the 1980 elections, Tessa is caught up by the new government’s promise of reconciliation and, in spite of the gloomy predictions of Zimbabwe’s downfall, she is certain that her country can become the new Promised Land in Africa. But her positive outlook and her acceptance of majority rule under Robert Mugabe are unexpected and shocking to her parents. The close-knit Harmand family finds itself torn between the bitterness of a generation that fears it has lost everything it has striven to achieve and the apparently insensitive optimism of youth. The inheritance of an estate in England is the trigger that prompts Bob and Sheila Harmand to make immediate plans for emigration.

Their younger daughter, Rosie, faces her new life with interest; in her eyes it is a long awaited opportunity to catch up with fashion and music, to break out of the insular community Rhodesia’s isolation had created. Tessa only sees what she will lose – her home, her beloved horses and Nathan Owen - Gill’s cousin – whom Tessa has come to love. Devastated, eighteen years old and beginning to tread the first avenues of her own independence, she makes the decision to remain behind in the potentially volatile new state.

Zimbabwe is currently plagued by a deep economic crisis and by the combined threats of AIDS, famine and political instability, but Tessa’s story illustrates that once both blacks and whites were hopeful about their future together.~This Promised Land|ISBN-13 9781920169220|~283~11341~~
This September Sun - Bryony Rheam~This September Sun is a chronicle of the lives of two women, the romantic Evelyn and her granddaughter Ellie. Growing up in post-Independence Zimbabwe, Ellie yearns for a life beyond the confines of small town Bulawayo, a wish that eventually comes true when she moves to the United Kingdom. However, life there is not all she dreamed it to be, but it is the murder of her grandmother that eventually brings her back home and forces her to face some hard home truths through the unravelling of long-concealed family secrets.
Sept 2009. Softback, 362 pages.~Reviews

`A beautifully executed story about Ellie's painful journey of discovery through her family history. The writing in This September Sun, poetic at times, fires a clear warning shot across the bows of world literature to announce that Bryony Rheam has arrived to claim her rightful place.' - Christopher Mlalazi

`Bryany Rheam offers us a rich portrait of a family and a society in the grip of inexorable change, through the eyes of the sensitive, spirited Eilie. Elegantly written, funny and poignant, this is a wonderful first novel from a writer of great promise. A true original.' - Caroline Giffillan

`Set largely in Bulawayo, This September Sun brilliantly evokes the ennui of the pre-Independence settler community who measure out their lives in cups of tea, sundowners, and illicit affairs. When, in 1980, a black government comes into power, Rhodesian complacency crystallises into Zimbabwean angst, and El1ie, the novel's over-sensitive protagonist, moves uneasily between the two. In this absorbing debut novel, Bryony Rheam expertly combines the Epistolary, the Bildungsroman, Romance, and Mystery to produce a work worthy of a place in the bibliography of post-colonial writings in Africa.' - John Eppel

Review by James Graham

The house of Zimbabwean letters is haunted by a ghost that few of its writers have been able to exorcise. Settler colonialism - in particular the culture of minority racial rule, with all it entailed in terms of fiercely polarised ideas of nation, race and class - was deeply embedded in the fabric of everyday life for all Rhodesians. So deeply embedded, in fact, that for a generation of writers after independence, black as well as white, Zimbabwe seemed a foreign land. Fixated on the colonial past, these writers appeared unable to conceive a liberated present: their imaginative world was haunted by the spectre of Rhodesia.

With this ambitious first novel, This September Sun, Bryony Rheam joins the ranks of a small but growing number of writers who seem intent on laying this ghost to rest. But that is not to say that September Sun does not also dwell on the past. To the contrary. In its forensically detailed, and at times unapologetically wistful, exploration of Bulawayo's suburban white society from the 1940s to the present day, Rheam's novel at first glance appears exemplary of this sepia-tinted trend. What sets this book apart from others in this vein, however, is its focus on two characters whose intertwined stories illuminate an under-represented milieu of both colonial and post-colonial Zimbabwean society.

These two characters are Evie Saunders, an English migrant who arrived in Rhodesia in 1947, and her granddaughter Ellie, born in Bulawayo in 1974. The novel is narrated by Ellie and begins with her recollecting the circumstances of her sixth birthday, the day Zimbabwe gained independence:

On the 18th of April 1980, my grandfather burnt the British flag ... Many white people had already decided to leave by the time the Rhodesian flag was lowered and the new Zimbabwean one hoisted. Grandad said we were in for trouble; this was just the beginning.(1)

This passage is noteworthy not so much for the tragicomic portrait of the inebriated grandfather and his moribund 'Rhodies never die' attitude, but because it also marks the day that Ellie's grandmother left this man in search of her own freedom. Ellie interprets a scar Evie receives from the flag-burning ceremony as a portent:

It looked like the shape of Zimbabwe etched on her arm. I think Gran was always a little proud of the mark, a symbol of the price she paid for freedom. Many years later, the man who murdered my grandmother would remember that mark as the last thing he saw as she raised her arms against him before he brought the butt of his gun down on her head.(2)

This remark and the subsequent narrative focus on Evie's 'independence' offers a completely novel - and indeed controversial - way of allegorising the history of post-colonial Zimbabwe. Rheam risks serious censure in choosing to compose such a symbolic narrative from the perspective of its historically privileged, yet increasingly embattled, white suburban population. Judged against the quality of what follows it is, to my mind at any rate, a justified gambit.

With a nod, perhaps, to the renowned South African writer J.M. Coetzee, Rheam creates a memoirist in her own image. Though not as felicitous or compact as Coetzee's 'memoirs', through this writerly conceit Rheam explores to compelling effect the secretive and self-absorbed world of a minority culture she was born into yet is unsure if she wants to belong.

The book is divided into three parts. Ellie's attempt to banish family ghosts through the act of writing - the framing 'now' of the book - is the motivation for recording the memories of her formative years in the first part of the book. This section deals with events and themes fairly typical of the bildungsroman genre: innocence, in time honoured fashion, cedes painfully to experience. The emotional maelstrom of youth - in particular of coming to terms with being, In Coetzee's famous phrase, 'no longer European, not yet African' - is affectingly conveyed.

There is a marked change in tone and pace in the second and third parts of the novel, corresponding to Ellie's discovery of different batches of her murdered grandmother's letters. The discoveries enable Ellie to cut through the veils of secrecy that shrouded her childhood. Transcribing the letters, Ellie reassembles her grandmother's life story - quite self-consciously - as a hybrid narrative: part romance, part mystery. Most importantly, we learn of an affair started in the 1940s which had a profound, albeit hidden, impact on family life for the next half a century.

In uncovering the secret life of her grandmother in this way, Ellie also embarks on a journey which leads to the gradual discovery of her own, complex, post-colonial identity. Unlike the romantic mystery she wants to write, however, Ellie finds that the uncomfortable truths she discovers deny resolution to this deeper mystery: 'I stop writing. Is it all too personal, too subjective, too me?' (89) Yet by continuing to write - by confronting and so coming to terms with the past - Ellie is able finally to envisage returning to Africa. '"See Zimbabwe for what it is," her Zimbabwean suitor Tony implores, "not as some failed annex of 1950s Britain. People carry on living ... Write a different story, Ellie." His voice was suddenly soft, the anger subsiding. "A different ending, at least."'(358)

And so the novel does end with a resolution, and in both senses of the word: 'I don't want to have a Rhodesian flag up in my living room and I don't want to write the memoirs of my African childhood. I don't want to live in the past.'(359) To no longer be haunted by the past - to live fully in the present - it seems Ellie must first confront and demystify it. While other reviewers will no doubt take issue with her exclusive focus on white Zimbabwean society in September Sun, I would argue that by presenting us with characters from this minority with whom we can empathise as well as criticise, Bryony Rheam takes a bold but necessary step toward exorcising the ghost of Rhodesia from the house of Zimbabwean letters.

James Graham

James Graham is a lecturer at Middlesex University and the author of Land and Nationalism in Fictions from Southern Africa (Routledge, 2009).

Review by Francis Mungana - The Standard, 1 May 2010

I must begin this review by confessing that prior to my reading Rheam's This September Sun I had very little knowledge of the fictional works of white Rhodesian and Zimbabwean authors. As a university undergraduate majoring in English in the late 1980s I was formally introduced to Doris Lessing's The Grass is Singing, Arthur Shearly Cripps' poetry and T.O. McLoughlin's Karima and that was all. On my own I later read Lessing's Collected African Stories, The Four Gated City and African Laughter, and I also delved into Ian Douglas Smith's autobiography Bitter Harvest. This September Sun impressed me as a new refreshing breeze that offers an incisive insight into the Rhodesian and, later, Zimbabwean psyche.

The book is divided into three parts, though there is a chronological sequence in its progression. One is skilfully ushered, often through letters and diary entries, into a rich but complex tapestry of both Zimbabwean history and a family's history and secrets. It is an intriguing and riveting story of the protagonist Ellie McIntyre and her grandmother Evelyn Saunders. The novel reminds me of Chenjerai Hove's apt observation that one can best learn the history of a country by reading its fictional works, rather than visiting its history textbooks. This book, which reads as if it is autobiographical, is a great tale of the bond between Ellie and Gran Evelyn, a bond which goes beyond the latter's death.

Part One opens with Zimbabwe celebrating its independence on 18 April 1980, which date coincides with the protagonist's sixth birthday. This transition from the old world (Rhodesia) to a new one (Zimbabwe) mirrors the change in Evelyn Saunders who leaves her husband and embraces her own independence. In a peculiar way the separation also signals an independence of sorts for Ellie who can now pay frequent visits to her beloved Gran who now lives alone. Henceforth we witness the growth and blooming of this very strong relationship. Part One closes with Gran's gruesome murder, which also reflects the end of a chapter in the protagonist's life. Parts Two and Three of the novel make use of Gran's diary entries stretching from January 1946 to October 2004, shortly before her death at age 77. These diary entries gradually provide the missing blocks of the jigsaw puzzle of Gran's eventful life as well as those of the others in Ellie's family.

Through the diary entries Ellie embarks on a journey to unearth the great mystery that her family is. She confesses that 'all my life my grandmother had been a mystery to me. I was perhaps the dearest person to her, yet I knew the least about her.'(p 233) We witness Ellie moving from naivety and gullibility in the process of 'dismantling the woman I thought I knew' and her confrontation and interrogation of a 'childhood of lies'. In the process she resurrects a life littered with 'the ghosts of yesterday'. It then dawns on Ellie that 'the greatest journey we go on is inward towards our selves, rather than outwards and away.'(p 127) How true this statement is for both for Ellie and Gran's lives! Much as Gran detests being 'surrounded by the ghosts of yesterday'(p 265), she cannot exorcise these ghosts and the past haunts her relentlessly. It is a past mired in cuckolding her husband Leonard through her relationship with her lover with whom she has an affair reminiscent of Heathcliffe and Catherine's in Charlotte Bronte's Wuthering Heights. There is also the ghost of her son Jeremy, the facts of whose death come to light in the novel through Ellie's reading of her grandmother's diaries. One cannot miss the political undertones that colour the pages of the novel. These political undercurrents, which constitute a subplot, offer an incisive insight into Rhodesia of the late 1940s right up to 18 April 1980. We are allowed glimpses of the racist mentality of the hardcore Rhodies who then refuse to come to terms with the reality of a new Zimbabwe. These are shown to have inflated egos and insist on sustaining a life constructed around fantasy and an irretrievable past. Rheam sums up these whites as those who 'could've won the war if only Smith had not given into Nationalist aggression, those who had always been on the brink of victory when Smith had surrendered.'(p 24) There are those like Granddad who feel betrayed by the 'bloody British… sold us down the river. Fought for King and country. For what? Where is their Empire now?'(p 86) There is also an indictment of the government of Zimbabwe by way of counterbalance. Its shortcomings are portrayed through the culture of fear and instability it inculcates, through the government's handling of the dark period of dissident disturbances in Matabeleland and in correcting land imbalances. There is however hope in the book that the two races will coexist happily.The way the book is structured adds to the richness of the narrative. The novel, just like the lives of the characters, does not have a clear beginning and a clear ending. There are constant shifts involving the present, the past and the future. One is reminded of the narrative style of literary greats such as Virginia Wolf, James Joyce and Dambudzo Marechera. When asked by another character about her life, Ellie retorts that 'the beginning keeps changing.'(p 268) There is a frustrating search by Ellie for a beginning, for rejuvenation. It is from this that the novel gets its title: 'There is a poetry to September, a song, a promise. It speaks of a new beginning, yet it heralds an end.'(p 115) Such is life, Ellie learns.

Minus the extensive use of extracts reproduced in the book that give it an air of being contrived and unnecessarily add to its volume, This September Sun is a rich addition to the canon of Zimbabwean and world literature. Bryony Rheam's powerful voice must be accorded a niche in college and university syllabi.


Francis Mungana is a lecturer in the Department of English and Communication at Midlands State University.~This September Sun|ISBN 9780797437449|~283~12858~~
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