Page 101. " tsoro, a traditional Shona game that was a cross between drafts and mahjong "

Tsoro is played by two people. Each player has two rows of holes. Different versions of the game have different numbers of holes in each row: some have four holes, some six, some nine. To begin, every hole contains the same number of pebbles, usually three.


The first player collects all the pebbles from one of his holes, and drops one in each of the following holes going clockwise or anticlockwise (this direction is maintained throughout the game). If the last pebble falls into a non-empty hole in the outer row, the player collects all the pebbles in that hole and redistributes them to the following holes. If the last pebble falls into a hole in the inner row, the player 'captures' all the pebbles in his opponent's two holes in the same column as his hole, and distributes them as before. A player's turn ends when the last pebble being distributed lands either in an empty hole in the outer row or in a hole in the inner row which is in the same column with an empty hole in the opponent's inner row.

Based on an article by Mr Thomas Masiwa, a teacher at Rufaro Secondary School in Mwenezi, Masvingo Region.

Nothing to it!!

Page 103. " malaria, typhoid and tick fever "

A map showing the spread of the 2008 Zimbabwe cholera outbreak
Public DomainA map showing the spread of the 2008 Zimbabwe cholera outbreak - Credit: Mangwani
The killers now are AIDS, tuberculosis and cholera.  At the beginning of 2009, the death toll from the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe passed 3,000.

Health in Zimbabwe today:

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 44/43

Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 34/33

Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 85

Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years (per 1 000 population): 755

Figures are for 2006 unless indicated.  Source: World Health Statistics 2008

Page 107. " Regis picked up the old meerschaum pipe "
Meerschaum pipe example
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMeerschaum pipe  - Credit: Sacer

Meerschaum pipes are widely considered the finest of all smoking vessels.  They don't need to be 'broken in' like most other pipes, yet can still get better with age. The pipe is made from an easy-to-carve material called meerschaum ("sea foam" in German) which is found underground in parts of Turkey and Africa and is formed from the fossilised remains of minute sea creatures. Meerschaum was favoured by the European aristocracy as it could be carved into intricate designs.




Page 110. " delicate red flame lilies - the national flower "

Red flame lilies
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumRed flame lilies - Credit: Darell Plowes

Page 112. " koeksisters (a plaited sweet pastry) "

Koeksisters - A Recipe

GNU Free Documentation LicenseKoeksisters - Credit: DO'Neil


For the syrup: 1kg sugar; 500ml water; 2 pieces fresh green ginger, peeled and crushed; ½ teaspoon cream of tartar; pinch of salt; grated rind and juice of ½ lemon.

For the dough: 500g flour; ½ teaspoon salt; 2 tablespoons of baking powder; 55g butter, grated; 1 egg; 300ml milk or water

To make the syrup, put all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat (stirring) until the sugar has completely dissolved. Cover the mixture and boil for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan lid and boil the syrup for a further 5 minutes, but do not stir it. Remove the syrup from the stove and allow it to cool for at least 2 hours in a refrigerator, or overnight.

To make the dough, sieve together the dry ingredients and rub in the grated butter with your fingertips, or cut it in with a pastry cutter. Beat the egg, add 250ml of the milk or water and mix lightly with the dry ingredients to a soft dough. Add more milk or water if the dough is too stiff. Knead well until small bubbles form under the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to stand for 30-60 minutes.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 cm, then form koeksisters in either of the following ways:

Cut strips 1 cm wide and twist 2 strips together, or plait 3 strips together, cutting the twisted, or plaited lengths at 8cm intervals and pinching the ends together.

Alternatively, cut the dough into 8cm x 4cm pieces. Cut 2 vertical slits in each piece, reaching to 1cm from the end. Plait the 3 strips that have been formed and pinch together the loose ends.

Heat 7-8cm deep oil to 180-190°C – a cube of bread should turn golden-brown in a minute. Fry the koeksisters for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown, then turn them over with a fork and fry until golden-brown on the other side.Remove the koeksisters with a lifter or slotted spoon, drain them for a moment on paper towel and then plunge them into the cold syrup for 1-2 minutes. Stand the container of syrup in a bowel of ice so that the syrup will stay cold. Remove the koeksisters from the syrup with a lifter or slotted spoon, allowing the excess syrup to flow back into the basin, then drain them slightly on a wire rack.