A powerful and intensely human insight into the civil war in Zimbabwe, focusing on a white farmer and his maid who find themselves on opposing sides.
In spite of being declared an enemy of the state by Mugabe's regime, Christina Lamb has made repeated trips to Zimbabwe and has unearthed the remarkable story of Nigel Hough, a privileged white farmer who envisaged living out the rest of his days on his farm with his family and their black maid, Akwe. In 2000, however, Robert Mugabe launched his controversial land reform program, sending war veterans to seize white farms using whatever violence necessary while the police turned a blind eye. Although Nigel Hough and his damily were determined to remain on the land they loved, their farm was violently seized by veterans, with Akwe at their head.
Christina Lamb returned to Zimbabwe years later to find the Houghs, now crammed into three small rooms, reunited with Akwe in congenial, if straitened, circumstances. Akwe, it transpired, had been pretending to lead the war veterans in order to protect the Houghs from the worst excesses of violence.
By tracing the intertwining lives of Nigel and Akwe - rich and poor, white and black, master and maid - Christina Lamb not only presents both sides of the Zimbabwean dilemma, but captures in achingly intimate terms her own uplifting conviction that, although savaged by civil war, there is still hope for one of Africa's most beautiful countries. A remarkable tale of envy, betrayal and love that provides a fascinating perspective on the civil war in Zimbabwe, by one of the few correspondents to have gained recent access to the country.