The Rorkes Drift North – Lindy Rorke
The present day failed dictatorship called Zimbabwe was once a land known as Rhodesia, a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, located between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers. To the west it was bordered by Botswana and to the east Mozambique. The country’s life as Rhodesia was short lived but it enjoyed an unsurpassed existence of glorious prosperity and goodwill. The sparsely populated territory was colonized in 1890 and was relinquished under conditions of betrayal, conflict and duress in 1980.
Rich in minerals and possessed of perfect conditions for agriculture, Rhodesia was developed by amazing people in the spirit of honest hard work, integrity, tenacity and good governance. A comparatively small number of white pioneer settlers and three generations of their descendants, with the help of indigenous labour, transformed the country from a wilderness to a paradise in its short life and the territory justifiably became known as the bread basket of Africa. Everything about Rhodesia was a work of art, produced by men and women willing to make huge sacrifices to see their dreams succeed.
Lindy Rorke is not a seasoned author, but in writing the story of her family she has symbolized the history of that beautiful land. In telling her story, she has told the story of Rhodesia, a land of natural beauty and courageous people, betrayed and demonized in the name of political expedience. A land that lives on in the hearts of her subjects who have wept while helplessly watching her raped and plundered through corruption, nepotism, fraud and ruthless retribution perpetrated with impunity by an illegal regime.
Ms Rorke’s first hand portrayal of her parents, transforming their piece of wild uncharted Rhodesian bush, the tenacity and courage they demonstrated in the face of hardships, epitomizes the character of Rhodesia and the wonderful people who gave birth to her.
This is a solid read. A story from the heart and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who needs to learn about, or be reminded of what Rhodesia was, how she was built and what families had to endure before being unceremoniously dispossessed of their life’s work through the atrocities of a ruthless and illegal regime against whom the world refused to act.