Page 54. " A tokalosh was a sort of African goblin, a bush imp, a malevolent hobbit. "

Public DomainTokolosh
The local monthly newspaper Vic-Falls News reports that counsellors at an AIDS workshop have agreed that evil spirits called "tokoloshes" probably spread the HIV virus by sexually abusing women during the night. Tokoloshes exist, in one guise or another, in the minds of people throughout Africa. They are described in various ways, but one account has them as 3ft spirits with only one buttock and an extraordinarily long penis slung over the shoulder.

Some Africans raise their beds on bricks to prevent tokoloshes climbing up and getting under the sheets beside them. Others fear they will be carried away in the night by the malevolent creatures.  Frigidity in a woman is claimed to be the work of a tokolosh lover. As an explanation for the 4 million Zimbabweans who are HIV-positive, it takes some beating.

The excellent South African strip cartoon Madam and Eve occasionally features tokoloshes:  Former President Thabo Mbeki meets a Tokolosh

Page 57. " the valley opened up and before us was Melsetter "
The eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe seen from the village of Chimanimani
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe seen from the village of Chimanimani - Credit: JackyR

Melsetter has been renamed Chimanimani.

Google Map


Page 71. " Please stand by for an important message from the prime minister, the honourable Mr Ian Douglas Smith "
Bakelite Radio
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBakelite Radio - Credit: Robneild

On 11 November 1965, the Rhodesian Government, led by Prime Minister Ian Smith, illegally severed links with the British Crown. Britain had insisted that independence would be granted only on condition of universal suffrage and shared power for the majority black population.

Ian Smith
Public DomainIan Smith
 We may be a small country, but we are a determined people who have been called upon to play a rôle of world-wide significance. We Rhodesians have rejected the doctrinaire philosophy of appeasement and surrender. The decision which we have taken today is a refusal by Rhodesians to sell their birthright. And, even if we were to surrender, does anyone believe that Rhodesia would be the last target of the Communists in the Afro-Asian block?

We have struck a blow for the preservation of justice, civilization, and Christianity; and in the spirit of this belief we have this day assumed our sovereign independence. God bless you all.

          - Ian Smith, Universal Declaration of Independence speech


Harold Wilson
Public DomainHarold Wilson - Credit: US Department of Defense
 I still find it incredible - and the House, when it reads the records, will find it incredible - that this action should have taken place this morning (Remembrance Day)… the British Government condemn the purported declaration of Independence by the former Government of Rhodesia as an illegal act and one which is ineffective in law. It is an act of rebellion against the Crown and against the Constitution as by law established, and actions taken to give effect to it will be treasonable. The Governor, in pursuance of the authority vested in him by Her Majesty The Queen, has today informed the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Rhodesian Government that they cease to hold office. They are now private persons and can exercise no legal authority in Rhodesia.

          - Response from Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Rhodesian Independence Video

Page 75. " Africans practise ancestor worship "
Congolese Carving of Ancestor
Creative Commons AttributionCongolese Carving of Ancestor - Credit: cliff1066, Flickr

Ancestor veneration is common across Africa.  It is widely believed (and not just in Africa) that the dead can influence events among the living, and must therefore be appeased and respected.  Dead relatives may even become minor deities with time.

Amongst the Shona, concepts of ‘life’ and ‘death’ are not mutually exclusive, and there are no clear dividing lines between them.  There are simply different levels of life (sickness is often described as ‘living a little’).  This is expressed in the concept of ‘ancestors’, relatives who have died but who continue to ‘live’ in the community and communicate with their families.