Great book and ref. woak for sure.
I am nearly through the copy Russell very kindly 'personalised' for me when I was in Canberra in December last year. A number of brilliantly written and often hilarious accounts from so many contributors. It evoked many memories, mostly good, and the book was a reminder to me that so much happened in that beautiful country during those heady years beyond our own personal experiences. I also like the bite size chunks of the anecdotes, each of which contribute to the rich tapestry which is The Rhodesian African Rifles. Despite its 550 odd pages, I wager that there are a great many other as yet untold stories, and would like to think that there is scope for a 'follow up'. If I may say, I wouldn't be too concerned about book sales tapering off. A book like this has, I think, a specific audience able to appreciate the contributions largely based on personal exposure to and experience with our masodja, and a sequel would in my view go down just as well. My tuppence haypenny anyway. Well done to messrs Russell Fulton and Andy Telfer for all the hard work which they invested in this memorable read.
My copy of "Chibaya Moyo" arrived at a very opportune moment, what with me facing the prospect of a prolonged lay-up, occasioned by some recent and extensive surgery. Over a few weeks I did something I very seldom do, even though I think of myself as a fast and avid reader: I read the entire book, every single word, and cover to cover. Lying on my bed, foot propped up on a pillow, this book pretty much transported me, and I'm certain it allowed me to heal, both outside, as well as inside. And what about the book: what's the verdict? Well, I LOVED it. It is a composite of many, many different writers, and in these pages we get more than a sidelong glance at a remarkable time and some quite remarkable people. I learned a lot I did not previously know, and it was a real pleasure to read about the experiences of a few people I knew in those days. I was delighted at the scope of the narrative and reading this book gave me something I never had: an appreciation for something I was a part of during many of the best days of my 58 years on this strange, beautiful, bewildering planet. Having read this book I learned a very great deal about this brotherhood of which I was, for just under 2 years, a small part, and I now have a renewed sense of respect for the men with which I served. What this book also gave me, on a personal level, was the opportunity for some form of redemption, since I was able in a small way to contribute some little something to the well-being of the Old Masodja of the RAR. I found the book an unalloyed delight to read. I consider it an essential "read" for any student of this chapter in our history, and the stories brought back a flood of memories. I very greatly respect the enormous personal contributions of the two editors, Russell Fulton and Andy Telfer, both of whom I am now proud to number among my friends. Reading this book was very good for me: It stirred up so many emotions, by far mostly positive, and a lingering sense of nostalgia and sadnes...
I have just read CHIBAYA MOYO, co authored by Andy Telfer and Russell Fulton, both commissioned officers attached to the Rhodesian African Rifles; the RAR.
I have both read, and critiqued an array of Rhodesian books in my lifetime, but none come even close to the brilliance of this wonderful piece of Rhodesiana.
CHIBAYA MOYO is unique in that it is not about ”ME, and what I did” but it is about “WE and what WE did”.
It’s Genesis is a history of this great Rhodesian Regiment from its small beginning to its Revelation; the handing in of their revered Colours, with a smorgasbord of delightfully tasty anecdotes, poems and short stories in between. The vast array of contributors filling the pages of this book, reflect upon the lives, idiosyncrasies and achievement of a kaleidoscopic Rhodesian populace.
For me CHIBAYA MOYO joined many of the dots, in what was a vexedly, trying time in our turbulent history....and in so doing has brought closure for me on many aspects.
As I picture those proud ‘Masoja’ marching off into the annals of history singing their poignantly beautiful regimental song “Sweet banana”, I am filled with deep remorse and simultaneously filled with great pride, that they loved their Rhodesia, as I did.
To Andy and Russell, I salute you both for your tireless devotion, and selfless endeavours to honour these fine men, and setting up a fund to assist those who have suffered, and still do, in their beloved country through the sales of CHIBAYA MOYO.