Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds

british-consulate

… behind high whitewashed fences topped with spikes and guarded by sentries.

Friday 12 May 1972

Somehow, on arrival at Lubumbashi, I was expecting such marvellous things that if the streets had been paved with gold nothing would have seemed out-of-place. Originally named Élisabethville after Élisabeth, Queen of the Belgians, it had a fine reputation as an elegant city high in the heart of Africa. I was excited.

Throughout most of the two-hour flight from Kinshasa, I had gazed out at clouds which cleared occasionally to reveal impenetrable jungle. But in the last half hour the jungle had yielded to the open and empty bush. I sat among well-dressed Africans who on landing brought cases and piles of plastic-wrapped parcels from every crevice in the plane. My thoughts raced at the prospect of living in this mysterious new land.

I descended to the airport tarmac. There was a host of red tulips, a privet hedge and everywhere black smiling faces ready to receive leur invités. Continue reading “Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds”

The Bonobo Factor

Elephant charge

crashing through the forest came a mature female. All Helen saw was the enormous grey ears flapping like flags on a windy day…

 

Introduction

In late 1976, Dr. Helen Robinson undertakes a field study trip in the Zaire. Gerald Smelzer, a young adventurer is having an affair with a beautiful researcher at the Zaire research station, Salumbobo. As storm clouds brew in post-colonial Africa, their paths bring them face to face with Elakat Wangombe who is leading a pre-emptive rebel strike to free Katanga, now known as Shaba, and make it into an independent state….

Opening Chapter here Continue reading “The Bonobo Factor”