Page 181. " under the Education Act we weren't allowed to have more than 6 per cent blacks "

Whilst white children enjoyed a classical British schooling, Africans were initially offered only primary and trade education. After 1945 secondary schooling became available to Africans but Mugabe's generation educated themselves mainly through correspondence schools.

Education remained segregated until 1979.

Page 182. " In my first year I had to skivvy for Peter Chinoka, a black prefect in the Upper sixth - the first black prefect. "

Peter Chingoka was the first black Rhodesian to make his name in cricket, thanks to a privileged upbringing as one of the few non-whites to attend Rhodesian private schools Hartmann House and St George's College.

His greatest cricketing achievement was his appointment as captain of the South African African XI in the Gillette Cup knockout competition of 1975-76 and 1976-77. He has since pursued a career in cricket administration.

Page 193. " his preferred comic vehicle being the Van der Merwe joke "

Van der Merwe is the butt of many South African jokes, in the same way that Paddy is the butt of Irish jokes.  Many of them have questionable racial elements, but here are a couple that draw their humour elsewhere:

A Priest was seated next to Van Der Merwe on a flight to Brakpan.  After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken.  Van Der Merwe asked for a Rum and Coke, which was brought and placed before him.  The flight attendant then asked the priest if he would like a drink. He replied in disgust "I'd rather be savagely raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips."  Van Der Merwe then handed his drink back to the attendant and said "Me too, I didn't know we had a choice."
Van der Merwe is invited to have lunch with the Queen. While sitting at her table he says to her: "Jis you know Queen you have got such a nice house, and you know Queen your clothes are so nice and you know Queen your food is bakgat!"  The Queen gets pissed off with this Queen bit and says to Van. "Mr Van der Merwe, you should not be calling me Queen this and Queen that the correct title is "Your highness".  Van says, " ..jis that is unbelievable, my brother's name is also Johannes and he is also a queen!"
It's no coincidence that the hapless hero of District 9 was named Wikus van der Merwe.     
Page 196. " under the Land Apportionment Act "


The Land Apportionment Act of 1930 was a milestone in Rhodesian history.  It was the first attempt in Southern Africa to segregate Africans and Europeans.


51% of the land was set aside for a few thousand white settlers. The indigenous people were prohibited from owning and occupying lands in these white commercial farming areas.

Only black Rhodesians could buy land in the African Purchase Areas.  The remainder of the land, the Indigenous Reserve areas, became known as Tribal Trust Lands.

Page 198. " The lake itself was vast, 2000 square miles "

Lake Kariba
Creative Commons AttributionLake Kariba - Credit: zongo 69


Google Map


Page 198. " the revenge of Nyaminyami, their river God "


GNU Free Documentation LicenseNyaminyami - Credit: Manwangani


Nyaminyami is an ancestral spirit for the people of the Zambezi Valley. He has the body of a snake and the head of a fish.  No one knows how big he is as he is never fully seen.