Why the mukiwa? 

In 1997 I volunteered with the British charity Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW) and worked in a school for eight months in rural Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. Whilst working there, and already interested in Southern African history, I got a copy of Bruce Moore-King's White Man Black War, and it seemed somehow inevitable that I would then spend time focussing on the Rhodesian war. With a grand mother from Graaff Reinet, relatives in Knysna (one of the loveliest towns on the Garden Route) and living for nearly a year in Pietermaritzburg whilst doing much of the research for this site which has had to be abandoned - it is currently not entirely sensible (let alone possible) to do research work in Zimbabwe. Pietermaritzburg, because many of those who took the gap left for the then more politically acceptable South Africa, often ending up in or near Durban - hence the standard joke, that with end of apartheid the when wes (so called because most conversations were supposed to begin with "when we were in Rhodesia") became "here wes" (as in "here we go again").

I had already spent time in Zimbabwe in 1980, staying with an uncle who had been an editor of the Rhodesia Herald (this was at a time when non-stories were supposed to be printed rather than blanks, to cover up the fact that censorship had taken place; he apparently raised hackles by resolutely leaving spaces blank - I would like to hope this was true). See more on my journalism during he war page. 

This was not long after the cease fire - I have an abiding memory of men in very short shorts with lots of guns - whilst we were there, there was a murder just a few doors down. No wonder he slept with a gun under his pillow. 

One of the main foci of the site is examining the role whites have played in Southern African history. (See the African history section for more).

And no, this site is nothing to do with Peter Godwin's book. But there is a review of it.

If you would like to know more about me (not necessarily recommended) and why I am now obsessive about the need for cyclists to wear helmets (literally as a life-saver) go to the About me page.