Book Review: The Zambezi Trilogy – Book One – The Horns by Jill Baker

The Horns – Book One of The Zambezi Trilogy by Jill Baker

This copy was given to me by a friend.

I finished The Horns on a Thursday, and that Friday, the day I set aside to review the book, Mugabe died.

The news hit me like a wave full of debris – no joy, no relief, no anger – it just thudded me on to a shore that was no longer there.

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Zimbabwe – wounded, wary…and wonderful

Zimbabwe – “Caged Bird” (also a poem by Maya Angelou)

I love Zimbabwe – I was born there, my father was born there, I went to school there, and I was married there. A few weeks ago I returned for a wedding.

It was a packed ten days. We stayed on a farm, we visited friends in Harare, and we spent three days in the Eastern Highlands.

Every step of the way weary Zimbabwe was courteous and kind.

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Book review: The Last Resort – A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Douglas Rogers

The tidying up of The Phraser continues. This, rearranged so it reads better, was the first book I reviewed.

The Phraser

The Last Resort - A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Douglas Rogers The Last Resort – A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Douglas Rogers

This memoir covers eight years in a country that is finger-nailed to a crumbling cliff. It should be a tough read…but it isn’t.

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Meryl Harrison – her 80th Birthday

Meryl Harrison on her 80th birthday

Meryl Harrison photographed at the party to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Meryl Harrison is renowned for her part in the rescue of the animals forcibly abandoned on farms during the turmoil of Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. 

“I never thought I’d reach my 80th birthday. Those of you who know me well know my life has been a bit of a car crash, and really it’s quite unexpected. I’ve crawled here one way or the other.”

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Zimbabwe – “I think we’ve got the gist of it…”

What next?

What next?

The telephone connection sounds thin. I turn up the volume to catch the reporter’s voice. A few horrific details staccato down the line then stop…suddenly the voice is gone.

There’s an awkward silence, a brief in-between space, and then a curt announcement from the show’s host: I think we’ve got the gist of it…”

Papers shuffle and a new topic fills the air.

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The identity question – Zimbabwean?

Why are we who we are? This is an old thought remastered, that takes me straight back to where I began.

The Phraser

Zimbabwe's children - what next? Zimbabwe

A young man, a stranger, asked me about identity, about my identity as a Zimbabwean. His question made me think…am I Zimbabwean?

The further I travel the more elusive the idea of ‘belonging’ becomes, and the more urgent the need for ‘identity’.

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The courage to save the animals – interview with Meryl Harrison

One of the early interviews on The Phraser: Meryl Harrison, the lady who drove towards the chaos on Zimbabwe’s farms to help the animals as Mugabe’s land redistribution programme gained momentum.

The Phraser

Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe's chaotic land redistribution programme Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land redistribution programme (photographed in England in 2012)

Ten years ago the BBC presented Meryl Harrison with a Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Her ‘outstanding work‘ was done on Zimbabwe’s farms whilst Mugabe’s chaotic land redistribution programme was in full surge.

This was in the early 2000s.

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