‘…hardly any Jews!’, The Matabele Campaign 1896, Colonel R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Methuen, London, 1897.


The British in Africa seem always

to have verged on the comical. There was

BP chasing a Matabele girl

through bush. He was ahorse, she on foot.

In tranquillity, he sketched the scene – the girl

bare-footed and -breasted, himself at a

gallop – for publication. She escaped –

but Rhodesia was made safe for Cecil,

the continent for Aids and exploitation.

Jingoist, philistine, racist and snob,

was BP conditioned or conditioning?

The darkness at the heart of Africa

is white man’s metaphor.



Note: first published on the site in October 2010.




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