Rhodesia was once named The Jewel of Africa. This was brought to mind again whilst I was watching the programme Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children on BBC television recently.
I spent a lot of time in Rhodesia (now named Zimbabwe) with my husband and children during the time of apartheid in South Africa. Crossing over Beit Bridge from South Africa into Rhodesia was like entering another world in those days. Gone was the apartheid system and people of all nationalities could mix freely.
We stayed in National Parks accommodation which were well run and safe during a six week holiday touring Rhodesia. We stayed at the Highlands Park Hotel in Salisbury (now renamed Harare) – a beautiful hotel, well run by efficient staff. Everywhere we went we witnessed happy people, all going about their business and nowhere did we see any evidence of the people residing in Rhodesia of any race suffering from hunger. In those days there was little or no tourism so we were able to witness the true way of life of the indigenous people in their natural habitat and although not rich, their way of life was relaxed and happy.
All the children went to school in smart uniforms and how sad it was to see in the documentary “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” that they are now being charged to go to school when they can barely feed themselves.
My recent book entitled Tears of Shame (awaiting publication) set in South Africa and Rhodesia in the years of apartheid until the present day, tells how it was then and now, and is based on a true story of a young girl who becomes a maid in the household of an English family struggling with the problems of apartheid in South Africa. She visits Rhodesia and falls in love with this beautiful country, as she is free to mix with people of all nationalities.
Sad, romantic and historical Tears of Shame will enlighten those people about the days before Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe and how South Africa has changed post apartheid.