Mukiwa : A White Boy in Africa, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Growing up in Rhodesia in the 1960s, Peter Godwin inhabited a magical and frightening world of leopard-hunting, lepers, witch doctors, snakes and forest fires.

As an adolescent, a conscript caught in the middle of a vicioud civil war, and then as an adult who returned to Zimbabwe as a journalist to cover the bloody transition to majority rule, he discovered a land stalked by death and danger.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780330450102



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This rings very true as a biography of the life of a Rhodesian schoolboy, growing up in a blatantly racist Rhodesia. Godwin writes with a very deadpan style, where one can't help laughing at some of the otherworldly happenings - He recalls how a neighbour said that his father had shot a kaffir - "But it was OK, becasue he had a license" .The book describes in marvellous detail the life of a white boy in the periphery of white Rhodesia, and how that society collapsed through a protracted civil war in the 1970s. Godwin was drafted into the police, and served for over a year in the south of the country, before leaving Rhodesia for Cambridge. Coming back to the new Zimbabwe three years later he's initially fascinated by the new country, but eventually shocked by the attitude of the ruling (predominantly Shona) ZANU party, who ruthlessly dominated the country, and in the process repressed the Matabele and other tribes. Godwin was declared persona non grata after he revealed the extension of the killings in Matabeleland and was only allowed back into the country several years later. The book runs up to the early 90's and doesn't cover the later atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe. - That's covered in the later book "When a Crocodile eats the Sun".The latter part of the books lacks a bit of polish, and feels a bit rushed.

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