Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa
With humor, portent and melancholy, Godwin (Rhodesians Never Die) recreates his 1960s youth in white Rhodesia. The son of relatively liberal whites, Godwin, through family servants, gained a sense of black African culture, language and religion. His mother, a doctor, helped African women with contraception; Godwin, in one of his wistful flash-forwards, observes that after the country became Zimbabwe, the government saw family planning as racist-but women in this still patriarchal society mutinied. He describes his strange private school-"racial enlightenment within a system of extreme conservatism"-and how he learned, in a job at his father's mine, that he fit in neither with racially unquestioning whites nor with restive blacks. As a policeman sworn to defend his renegade homeland against black guerrillas seeking independence, Godwin found himself pained by guerrilla cruelties to civilians, but shamed by his own role in arresting local leaders. Godwin soon concluded that a black victory was inevitable, and escaped the deepening war for studies in England, trailed by bad dreams. When he returned three years later as a lawyer and journalist, he experienced some peace-a black soldier he met absolved him offhandedly. However, his efforts to uncover the new government's human rights abuses led him to be declared an enemy of the state.
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