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Zimbabwe, An affectionate look back at a marvellous country

Novus had three visitors when David Kendrick, a member of the Rotary Club of Rushden Chuchele, spoke about his period on attachment to the Zimbabwe Air Force.

David spent 34 yars in the Royal Air Force and ‘lived the life of Riley’ in Zimbabwe. On top of his RAF salary, he was paid more than that for giving logistics advice to the ZAF and also lived in a 27-room house over three floors with his wife, son and daughter.

He showed wonderful slides of wildlife, Victoria Falls, the Kariba Dam and much more during his talk, which was heavily laced with humour.

But the troubles suffered by Zimbabweans, Shona in the north and Ndebele in the south, troubled the man who clearly loves the country he seriously considered staying in when his secondment came to an end.

His former boss in the ZAF was responsible for killing 50,000 people in an ethnic cleansing mission. Inflation rose to the point where the biggest bank note — for One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwean Dollars — fell from the giddy heights of being worth £20 Sterling to just £1 Sterling! One of David’s photographs showed a queue of men with black bin bags withdrawing money from an atm.

He recalled there being no butter, no eggs and — for three and half months — no electricity.

But overall, David and his family found their life there as memorable and good.

The other visitors were Rodney Spokes, husband of Novus secretary Pam, and Abiodun Durojaye.

Abiodun is newly arrived from Nnamdi in Nigeria. He is currently studying Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering at De Montfort University for his Master of Science degree. Abiodun is a member of Rotaract, an organisation for 18-30-year-olds within the Rotary family. He hopes to make contact with the newly-formed Rotaract Club of Leicester Universities. And Novus members hope to see him often during his time here.

Some Novus members signed up for a murder mystery evening being presented (again via Zoom) by David’s Rotary Club on March 22.

And they hope to meet in person for the first time in a year, at the Mirch Masala restaurant owned and run by Novus member Pradeep Popat.

Altogether, an enjoyable meeting ending on a note of optimistic fellowship.

Last edited: 21:30 on Thursday, 25.02.2021