As Long As a Free Man Breathes There Will Always Be a Rhodesia

As Long As a Free Man Breathes There Will Always Be a Rhodesia

When I was growing up I admired plucky little Rhodesia from afar. It is now called Zimbabwe. Like the Weimar Republic or perhaps Camelot, it lives only in memory and myth.

Rhodesia was a break away colony from the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It became a pariah state like Chile under Allende or Israel under anybody.

Everybody hated Rhodesia. Why?

It had white supremacists. Racial injustice. Continuation of colonial rule! Blah, blah, blah.

Rhodesia’s origins go back as far as the 1650s with the establishment of Cape Town by the Dutch. And then the subsequent settling of southeast Africa by these people and other Europeans.

The people of this thinly populated land were nomadic and for the most part hunters and gatherers.

Rhodesians turned tractless scrub and veldt into a modern civilization which superpowers and future despots coveted for their own.

In the 1970’s two thugs named Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo fought for control of Rhodesia. They both led armies against Ian Smith’s government. Mugabe had money and munitions supplied by China and Nkomo was financed by the Soviet Union.

It was widely known that both men would fight each other to head Rhodesia once whites were thrown out of power.

That racial injustice stuff was all nonsense and fraud.

It was all about bringing into power another oppressive and brutal strongman who would destroy the economy through corruption and set back the quality of life for all those remaining.

The world agreed that this was fine as long as blacks were in charge.

And so The Great Experiment failed and another despot was installed. The African continent once again saw another country fall into misery by one of their own.  Another strongman who ruined everything positive that the former and vilified colonial powers had brought about.

The Rhodesian Army gallantly fought against the world in a bush war of legend but the outcome was always certain. The last days found civilians taking automatic weapons with them before going to play golf or tennis. It was that bad.

Still, gallantry and pluck.

Many people from around the world enlisted in the Rhodesian army.

Much like pilots who volunteered to help Great Britain before the United States entered World War II. Or like Orwell and so many others who went to Spain to fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

I had to look up how to spell Zimbabwe. I don’t use it.

As long as a free man breathes there will always be a Rhodesia.

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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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