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I have One Bar!

Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005 5:36 PM
Subject: I have One Bar!

Dear Family and Friends,
I was at a small local function this week when a father stepped forward
and addressed the gathering about the dire needs of an institutional home
for mentally handicapped people. He told of how the institution had always
been massively subsidised by farmers and businessmen. Farmers who would
just arrive with sacks of vegetables, potatoes, meat and fruit. Businesses
which gave bedding, furniture or cash donations to help with plumbing,
maintenance and upkeep. In the last six years as the majority of farmers
have been forced off their properties and as more and more businesses have
closed in our shrinking economy, it has become almost impossible for
specialist institutions to keep going.

At the end of his short appeal for help, there was clapping and
encouragement from the audience and the man returned to his seat. As he
did so the electricity went off in yet another power cut but before the
candles had even been found, people were coming forward in the dark. One
after another they passed over handfulls of cash and others gave bottles
of brandy and vodka to be used as prizes in a raffle. Someone suggested
the bottles be auctioned and amid cheering and applause an auctioneer was
nominated and the bottles of spirit came under the hammer.  There was
nothing at all special about these bottles, they were the cheapest locally
made spirits with unknown brand names which sell for around a hundred and
fifty thousand dollars.The bidding for the first bottle began at a hundred
thousand and with much laughter, taunting and insults it rose to two,
three, six, eight hundred thousand dollars. "One Bar" shouted the
auctioneer, "I have one bar" which is the latest Zimbabwean slang for one
million dollars.This became two bars, and then three bars. At last the
bidding was done and the sale made.The hammer went down in the candle
light, the applause was defeaning and a desperately struggling home for
mentally handicapped people was given a small reprieve.

Not long after the impromptu auction, talk turned to the ludicrous
situation these days where the banks are short of big denomination notes.
In a country with galloping inflation, presently at 411 percent, none of
us ever seem to have enough money. A businessman told how he'd been short
of 30 million in cash to pay his small work force. The bank said that at
such short notice they could only provide it in one thousand dollar notes.
Can you imagine drawing 30 million dollars in one thousand dollar notes?
Later that night with a large sheet of paper, a calculator and kitchen
scale I worked out what this entailed. Thirty thousand bank notes, three
thousand paper clips and 30 elastic bands make up thirty million dollars.
This large pile of paper weighs a staggering 45 kilograms and when the
businessman got to the bank to collect his money, they had to loan him a
tin trunk and two security guards to carry it. And what can you buy for
thirty million dollars in Zimbabwe this week: twelve hundred loaves of
bread or 90 frozen chickens or a drum and a half of petrol on the black
market. It has all become very much like living in the land of Alice in
Wonderland but the people are still the friendliest, kindest and most
generous people in the world. Until next week, love cathy
Copyright cathy buckle 19 November 2005.
"African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available  from:

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Taibu forced into hiding

Andrew Meldrum
Sunday November 20, 2005
The Observer

Long plagued by political infighting, Zimbabwe Cricket has fallen deeper
into crisis, with national team captain Tatenda Taibu in hiding from ruling
party thugs, the team calling for the resignation of the chairman and the
chairman under investigation for misuse of foreign funds.
The litany of troubles has brought calls from inside Zimbabwe as well as
international commentators for the intervention of the ICC into the
political interference in the administration of the sport in Zimbabwe.

The national team has not recovered from the boycott by former captain Heath
Streak and 17 other white players last year. But now the young black players
who replaced them are also balking at the way hardliners from President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party are running the sport and allegedly helping
themselves to the foreign earnings.

The players are threatening to strike and last week urged the resignation of
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka and managing director Ozias Bvute.
Serious questions about misuse of funds by the national administration were
repeated by the chairmen of Zimbabwe's five provincial cricket boards.

Matters came to a head when Taibu, 22, addressed a press conference 10 days
ago about the national team's grievances and he is said to have received a
threatening phone call from a well-known Zanu-PF enforcer. Within a few
minutes, Taibu's wife also received an intimidating phone call and the
couple and their four-week-old child went into hiding.

Until recently, Taibu was the cheerfully apolitical young sportsman who
replaced Streak and led a woefully inexperienced national team to a string
of humiliating defeats. But now Taibu is speaking out.

He said that he slowly discovered that the troubles in Zimbabwe cricket were
not about race. 'We found out that it is about the administrators,' he
explained. 'They have two players on contract and 75 people employed in
administration. Usually I am a quiet guy who doesn't usually like to get
involved in a lot of things, but when these guys [Chingoka and Bvute]
started to put the race issue as the major cause of problems in cricket, I
felt I had to make a stand and tell the truth. It's simple as it can be -
cricket is not being run properly.'

The players support national coach Phil Simmons, a former West Indies
player, who was sacked by Chingoka. Simmons was replaced by former player
Kevin Curran, who once was banned from the national team because he played
in apartheid South Africa. He is not a popular appointment.

The charges from the players and provincial chairmen that Chingoka and
others had misused foreign funds drew the attention of the country's cash
hungry central bank which enforces the strict laws on foreign earnings.
Agents searched the offices of Zimbabwe Cricket this week and called
Chingoka and Bvute. Authorities are especially looking into what happened to
the £50,000 'honorarium' that Zimbabwe Cricket awarded to Chingoka.

Members of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit are to travel to
Zimbabwe this month, according to reports in South Africa, to investigate
the board's finances.

In an effort to sidestep the critical provincial committees, Chingoka
hastily created five new provincial committees in the past month. He had
hoped that these bodies would help him to win approval at a national meeting
planned for this weekend, but the meeting was postponed at the last minute,
amid allegations of illegalities and irregularities.

'Anyone can see that Zimbabwean cricket has been in a mess for some time,
but now it is getting worse,' said a former national team player, who wished
to remain anonymous. 'The fact is, Mugabe and his Zanu-PF cronies are
running the game for their own profit and they will threaten anyone who
questions them. It is despicable.'

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 19th Novemer 2005

Cold but brilliantly clear.  I suppose you could think of early on a winter's
day in Zimbabwe.  Nothing that dancing can't help - so there was loads of
dancing.  We were grateful to be fortified by our pizza man: a generous
well-wisher who always buys us pizza.

Julius Mutyambizi-Dewa was pleased to get a letter from the British
government in response to our petition calling on Mr Blair to make Zimbabwe
a priority.  Lord Triesman, Minister responsible for Africa, wrote with a
full account of the government's policy.  We hope to put his letter on this
website.  Briefly, he says Zimbabwe remained a high priority but that
concerted international action is the only effective option.  We will write
back to him and say this is exactly what we want but why aren't we getting

We had an unusual visitor this week, a local drunk who spent his time at the
Vigil flat out on the pavement amongst the dancers.  We were greatly
relieved when he got to his feet and we were able to usher him out of the

There is so much education to do.  We had one fellow today who argued that
he supported Mugabe because he was just giving Africa back to the Africans.
A former Zimbabwean teacher, Harris, took him aside and spoke to him at
length about what is happening in Zimbabwe.  His view had changed after his
conversation with Harris.  So much of what we do is interacting with the
public passing by - people from all over the world.  We find that so many of
them are very concerned and sympathetic.

We were pleased to be joined by an influx of Zimbabwean refugees.  The Vigil
has become the meeting place for exiled Zimbabweans.  The Vigil has made a
contribution towards sending home the body of one of the Zimbabwe hunger
strikers, our sister, Lizwane Ndlovu, who died last week.  She has left
behind two young children in Zimbabwe and we all grieve for them.

Next week the Vigil in support of civil society in Zimbabwe is to protest
against the Senate elections.  Vigil supporters are against wasting money on
what they consider to be a sterile house of cronies.

FOR THE RECORD: about 40 supporters came today.

FOR YOUR DIARY: Monday, 21st November, 7.30 pm, Zimbabwe Forum, Upstairs at
the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28 John Adam Street, London WC2 (cross the Strand
from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go down a passageway to John Adam Street, turn
right and you will see the pub).  The first forum at the new venue will be a
social evening.

Vigil co-ordinator

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Rhodesian Christian Heritage - 40 Years after UDI

[Long live Rhodesia!! An efficient, vibrant country the likes of which Zimbabwe never will be able to match. And who knows... maybe Rhodesia will outlive Zimbabwe.

I was remarking to a friend of mine the other day, that the USA and the Western world don't care for their values any more (at a Governmental level it seems), while some of us were more dedicated to those values. Many of us folks from smaller countries, took those values much more seriously. Nowadays the USA sucks up to the ANC and their ilk - but in reality, if they were true to their values, they'd be blotting them off the face of the Earth.

I find it awesome that 40 years after UDI, people still think kindly back to that time and to the great risk and great chances which our bold leaders took back then. The fact that it failed is really not something we should feel sad about. I still want to write more about this later. Whites shouldn't beat themselves up for having failed. We were the FEW. We were trying to reach high, to achieve the IMPOSSIBLE. Many people tried very BOLDLY. The odds were stacked tremendously against us from the very beginning. But it does not matter. I think it is not that we lost that is the issue. I think it is that we TRIED. That, at the end of the day is really what matters. I also don't believe it was in vain.

I think every Rhodesian (along with the South Africans and Americans who supported them), can be proud of this. Every day, when we see what Mugabe is doing there, it justifies COMPLETELY the views we had and the things we stand for. Every day, Robert Mugabe proves that we were right.

I have reached the point, where after much soul-searching, I think Whites in Africa need not feel bad, or guilty about anything they did. History has proved us right, and will continue to prove us right. We tried to prevent the many problems which are now a reality. I cannot see how God can fault us on anything. We tried to prevent problems. And that is what this was all about. It was a noble attempt, and nobody should feel bad about the results at all.

Also, when I think back, it strikes me, just how extremely reasonable our political position was back then. Even at their worst, our leaders were more than reasonable. All we asked for, at one time, was a mere 10 years of transition in a lawful and peaceful manner to black majority rule. I think that is more than reasonable. These days I tend to think that a transition of 30 years would have been even more realistic - but there is no ways in hell the British or anyone else would have accepted even such a stance. It is the sheer reasonableness of our stance, which strikes me with great force these days. We asked for very reasonable, very realistic things, all of which were completely rejected with contempt by the others.

We boldly strove for GREATNESS. I think that there is a certain amount of glory, which will always be linked to these efforts. And nobody can ever take that away from us. Jan]

From: Andy Hope-Hall
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 8:55 PM
Subject: Rhodesian Christian Heritage

To all who receive this (I have blind copied this to many as well as to the English Churchman Newspaper). This message below from our brothers in Frontline Fellowship in Africa reflects the truth in that so many Rhodesians have gone on to become staunch Christians, with faith founded or forged in the fires of the battlefield. They have also gone on to endeavour to achieve in whatever nation they have gone to.
I am proud of my heritage and proud of my small part in that war against communism and all the odds stacked against us. Arthur Lewis is right, worldly kudos for the likes of Kissinger and Carrington will mean nothing in the face of the final day for all of mankind.

Every very real blessing to all of you.

Andy Hope-Hall

To mark the 40th Anniversary of Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (on Thursday 11 November 1965), Frontline Fellowship hosted a Pray for Zimbabwe Rally in the Pinelands Town Hall, Cape Town. Friends of the mission were invited to a supper beforehand, where historic film clips of Rhodesia were screened.

The Pray for Zimbabwe Rally was opened with devotions by Rev. Stephen Smyth (ex BSAP). He emphasised the brevity of life, the certainty of death, and the absolute priority of repenting of our sins and returning in faith to Christ for salvation. Rev. Smyth also noted the extraordinary high percentage of people that he knew from Rhodesia who were serving in the ministry today. A large number of Rhodesians are serving with distinction in many areas of life, and many can date their spiritual conversion to the crisis and war in Rhodesia.

Dr. Peter Hammond presented a special slide presentation on The Christian Heritage of Rhodesia, which brought back many memories for most of the guests attending the rally who had once lived in that magnificent country. This was followed by a shocking up-to-date PowerPoint report on the current crisis in Zimbabwe.

After Peter’s presentation, Collen Makumbirofa, of the Foundation of Reason and Justice in Zimbabwe, who had travelled down for this rally, confirmed the seriousness of the catastrophe in Zimbabwe today. Collen described the ZANU-PF government of Zimbabwe as a criminal enterprise, which was involved in a war against the poor, and a war against God. The racist, lawless violence of the Communist government in Zimbabwe had left over a million people homeless, the prisons overflowing and the once productive agricultural farms completely wrecked. Pastors have been arrested for “subversive” prayers, churches have been raided and prayer meetings have been broken up with much violence, some women have been so severely injured by these assaults by Mugabe’s police that they’ve had to be hospitalised. Many thousands of Christians have been tortured and murdered. Collen described what is going on in Zimbabwe as a “genocide.”

“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3.

Messages were also presented by Demi Dudley (ex BSAP) and Cheryllyn Dudley, MP, who had been part of the parliamentary observer mission to Zimbabwe, and Rev. Bill Bathman, veteran American missionary who travelled extensively in Rhodesia during the war years, closed with a challenge and prayer.

Messages from Mr. Ian Smith (the Prime Minister of Rhodesia), Col. John Redfern, the honourable Secretary of the Flame Lily Foundation, and from Rev. Arthur Lewis, a Church of England missionary who spent many decades serving the people there, sent messages to be read out at the event. These messages from Mr. Smith and Rev. Lewis follow:

Mr. Ian Douglas Smith:
To all the wonderful Rhodesians, where ever you are in the world. We are making a special effort to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Independence when we decided to cut our ties with the British government, who had betrayed us in an effort to placate those devious people who were using us for their convenience.

It is an honest & positive fact, supported by world-renowned politicians, that Rhodesians have distinguished themselves in whatever endeavour they have undertaken. This was clearly indicated by the British leaders such as Harold Wilson & Alec Hume who acknowledged the great contribution that Rhodesians made in WW II.

I would ask you to join me in ensuring that we do our utmost to preserve, perpetuate & enhance the Rhodesian Spirit. May it continue forever.

(Toast) Rhodesia

Rev. Lewis:

It is useless to say “I told you so” - though of course we did. Kissinger and Carrington got their own way and are directly responsible for the misery of millions in Zimbabwe today. There is One who will judge them, unmoved by the honours showered upon them in this world. The World Council of Churches seems to be doing little to compensate for its folly.

But our job is to face the situation as it now is. What is done cannot be undone, but we can still do something to mitigate the plight of the victims. The Frontline Fellowship and the Rhodesian Christian Group are both striving to bring practical help wherever possible. We depend of course on you, and are deeply grateful for all the prayer and support you give us.

It may seem that it is all a drop in the ocean of need. But it is worth remembering the Chinese proverb: It is better to light a small candle than to curse the dark.

Sincerely yours in Our Lord,


In 1976 Ian Anderson of the League of Rhodesia wrote the following: “From Thermopalae (480BC) to Malta (AD1565)…it has often fallen to a small community or people to give a moral examples to its larger and more powerful neighbours…in each case valuable breathing space was gained for other parties to rally to the cause and to complete the task so boldly initiated by faith.

“We in Rhodesia have a very strong sense of national purpose. We feel we have been singled out by Providence to be the stumbling block in the path of Communist aggression. There is yet time for the Western powers to put Rhodesia’s stand in its historical perspective; but they are leaving it dangerously late…” (Rhodesia: Myths and Facts)

In standing firm against Communist aggression for 15 years, Rhodesia indeed won valuable breathing space for the free world. In much the same way as the 300 Spartans held up the enormous invading force of Persians at Thermopalae, and as the courageous knights resisted the Islamic invasion of the small island of Malta, I believe that, in time, history will recognise that the sacrifices and courage of Rhodesians in resisting Communist terrorism contributed to the ultimate collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. Had Rhodesia not resisted, the consequences for South Africa could have been absolutely disastrous. Had South Africa fallen to Communism during the Cold War, the strategic Cape sea route and vital minerals essential for Western industry and defence, would have fallen into the hands of the Soviet Union with catastrophic consequences.

The reign of terror and state sponsored terrorism of Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe have only vindicated Ian Smith’s position. In time it will become even clearer that in no small measure Ronald Reagan’s successful stand against Communist expansion in the 1980’s was made possible by Rhodesia’s stand against Communist terrorism in the 60’s and 70’s.

The history of Rhodesia confirms the disastrous consequences of the unprecedented foreign interference and the rejection of Rhodesia’s internal settlement. Even more seriously, there is a real danger of Mugabe’s example of racist and lawless land invasions example in Zimbabwe being followed in Namibia and South Africa.

The Scripture commands us to care for widows and orphans, to love our neighbours, to remember the prisoner, and to serve our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith.

Persistent prayer, publicity and pressure provide protection for the persecuted (Luke 18:1-7). Pray for the Christians suffering in Zimbabwe. Mobilise your congregation and Bible study group to pray, and write to your elected representative to urge decisive political and economic pressure to be brought to bear against the Communist ZANU regime in Zimbabwe. Encourage your church to support missions of mercy to the suffering Christians in Zimbabwe. Phone, fax or write to your nearest Zimbabwe embassy and protest against their racist and lawless policies of oppression.

“Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship
P O Box 74
Newlands 7725
Cape Town
South Africa


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Falls paradise

The Sunday Times, UK November 20, 2005

            Anthony Sattin canoes with crocs and dozes with hippos as he
retraces Dr Livingstone's journey down the mighty Zambezi

            Horace was the worst of one-night stands: he left before I woke.
No wonder I slept in. Although he might deny this, Horace had kept me awake
half the night with his snoring, which was rich and persistent. I wasn't
complaining too much, however. I'd expected much from my canoe expedition to
the Victoria Falls, but I hadn't expected to sleep with a hippo.
            There was no way I was going to nudge Horace to turn over - not
after hearing my guide, SK, talk about hippopotamus behaviour on my first
morning. "Hippos are dangerous," he said, as we stood beside the glittering
Zambezi near the Zambian village of Katambora. "They won't eat you, but if
they feel threatened, they will attack. They have big teeth and they are
verrrry heavy."

            The broad river was sprinkled with islands and fringed with
exotic trees. It seemed like paradise to my sore, city-dwelling eyes - but
not to SK. He saw only the dangers.

            "Watch out for the crocodiles," he went on. "Large, very fast
and verrrry fierce. They grow to 16ft and have up to 80 teeth. Keep your
hands and feet inside the canoe."

            I looked at the inflatable craft we were about to launch and
wondered whether rubber would withstand croc or hippo teeth. I also wondered
about that roaring noise I could hear coming from beyond a stand of trees.
We were some way above the Victoria Falls, which one of the local tribes
calls Mosi-oa-Tunya, "the smoke that thunders". Was I hearing the thunder?
"That's just the Katambora rapids," SK said. "Nothing to worry about." He
handed me a helmet and life jacket. "But there are dangers," he added

            FOR EVERYTHING that followed, I have two very different men to
thank. The first is David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary who passed
Katambora in November 1855 on his way to becoming the first recorded
European to see the falls, which he named after his queen. Where other
colonial figures have had bad press in Africa, Zambians still adore
Livingstone. As a boy, SK was taught that Livingstone told the world about
the falls and fought slavery. "Without him, I might not be here.

            And you wouldn't be, either."

            The other person I have to thank is Robert Mugabe. The Zambezi
separates Zambia from Zimbabwe, and until a few years ago, most visitors
approached the Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side, which has hotels and
tour companies to look after them. Since Mugabe launched his land- reform
programme, however, most foreigners stay on the Zambian side. While the
Lower Zambezi - below the falls - has become an adventure park, the Upper
Zambezi has wildlife and some beautiful riverside lodges, but is less

            We pushed the canoe out, me in front, SK at the back, a motor
behind him. I scoffed at that. After the rains, the Zambezi flows so fast
you don't really need to paddle. Even in the dry season, we moved without
too much effort, picking up speed as we approached the rapids, which looked
gentle enough, but still soaked us. SK smiled knowingly.

            The Zambezi's small sand islands closed down the horizon, but
provided plenty to look at. SK pointed out the many birds along their
banks - the vultures, a cormorant, some storks. Then something slid into the
river, very near us. Very near.

            "Crocodile," was all SK said, paddling swiftly across the

            Television has made an art out of wildlife-watching, feeding us
lingering views into the private lives of creatures. Real time in the wild
is different: the croc moved so quickly that all I saw was its spine gliding
into the water. I didn't see much more of the hippos that surfaced briefly
further downstream: "To check who we are," my guide explained. Then the
breeze picked up and SK laughed. "Still want to paddle?" Well, I did, but
the wind was practically blowing us back upriver. We motored to Siankaba.

            Without Mugabe's folly, the islands of Siankaba probably wouldn't
exist. It is the reason that Simon Wilde, a Zimbabwean, opted to set his
luxury camp on two Zambian islands. On one, he built six wooden rooms,
hidden in the trees. On the other, he built a restaurant, bar and pool.

            Wilde is so successful at creating a house-party atmosphere that
even the honeymooners joined in as we ate together, strolled through nearby
Siankaba village and paddled out onto the river for a sundowner. The first
day of my journey concluded in classic African style: around the campfire,
galaxies above us, unidentified sounds all around.

            Gathering around a fire is one experience we can still share
with Livingstone, 150 years on. Another is travelling in a mokoro, a dugout
canoe like those the explorer used to reach the falls in 1855. Mine had been
carved from a balsa-like manketti tree. I sat on a chair in the middle while
Lemmy Nyambe punted us into the stream.

            As well as wielding the heavy oar, Lemmy was skilled at spotting
game - bushbuck, hippos, crocs - and at identifying trees. I was
particularly struck by the tentacle-like roots of the waterberry, the arms
of the baobab and the leaves of the mangosteen. Lemmy took me as far as
Sindabezi, another island bush camp, this one with just five beds. I spent
the evening watching baboons play in the Zambezi National Park while the red
sunset dissolved into the river.

            But the real thrill at Sindabezi came after dark. There is no
electricity, so five of us were dining by candlelight - crocodile on the
menu - when conversation was halted by a noise from the riverbank. A hippo
strolled slowly past the table.

            "Don't stop talking," our hostess suggested. "Horace likes

            Unlike other hippos, Horace grazes all day and comes ashore at
night. So it was that he chose to kip near my bed, snoring through vast
nostrils. All things considered, I was glad he was a heavy sleeper.

            Just a few more miles of beautiful river to the falls. Most of
Zambia's riverside developments lie below Sindabezi, including the Zambezi
Sun, where I spent the following night.

            The Sun and its upmarket twin, the Royal Livingstone, have been
built inside the national park, right beside the falls. This must have had
wildlife campaigners gnashing their teeth, but it doesn't seem to have upset
the animals, which got to me before I'd even had breakfast.

            A sign outside my room asked me to Please Beware of Crocodiles.
I assumed it was a gag, but it turned out to be the beginning of a safari: I
encountered a small croc sunbathing just behind the sign; zebra were
cropping the grass; baboons were bothering guests at the terrace restaurant;
and a family of elephants were crossing the road. Overexcited, I returned to
the river.

            Livingstone landed his mokoro on a small island in the middle of
the surging stream, which has since taken his name. The island is sacred to
the local tribe, who made sacrifices here to the river gods, and it provides
the most spectacular view of one of the wonders of the world. Livingstone
crawled to the edge, looked down and declared this "the most wonderful sight
I had seen in Africa".

            There was one trick, however, the good man missed. I stormed
across to Livingstone Island on a twin-engined banana boat, and a guide
named Samson took me to the south bank, where he suggested that I dive into
the river. We were a dozen feet from the edge of the falls. Apart from the
obvious, I thought about the dangers SK had warned against, but Samson
declared that hippos and crocs don't like fast-flowing water. In I jumped.

            Below the falls, people were bungee-jumping and white-water
rafting, flipping helicopters inside the gorge and flying microlights above
it. But nothing could compare to this.

            The river, surprisingly warm and unsurprisingly powerful, pushed
me towards the brink of the falls, where a ridge of rock stopped me from
going over. Leaning across it, I watched the river fall 328ft and throw back
a spray - the "smoke" - and a roar - the "thunder". It also made a rainbow.

            It wasn't till I got home and saw the photographs that I
realised the rainbow ended, leprechaun-style, in the river, just beside me.

            .. Anthony Sattin travelled as a guest of Sunvil Africa

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Safran helps lift curse of the Socceroos

The Sunday Age, Melbourne, Australia.

20 November 2005


OUALIFYING for the 2006 World Cup had nothing to do with the heroics of
goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, the ice-cool penalty kick by John Aloisi or
supercoach Guus Hiddink.

The real reason for Australia's great football victory is some investigative
journalism by comic John Safran.

If you think this is a joke, rewind the tape of the post-game presentation
on SBS and watch analyst Craig Foster quickly thanking Safran for helping
lift the curse on Australian football.

The story begins in 1969, when the Australians were trying to qualify for
the 1970 World Cup. The team had lost a play-off and was to face Rhodesia
(now Zimbabwe) in Mozambique.

Safran said: "Johnny (Warren) told me that after the first game of that
series, some of the players heard about a witchdoctor in Mozambique who said
he could sort things out by putting a curse on the Rhodesians.

"They all said, 'Yeah, cool, let's do it' and so the witchdoctor planted
some bones near one of the goalposts and cursed the opposition."

The team won the next game 3-1 and the witchdoctor told the players he
wanted $1000 for his services.

"You owe me", the witchdoctor told them, but the players didn't have enough
money," Safran said. "He warned them he'd reverse the curse and put it on
Australian soccer.

"The players left the country without paying up and Johnny sincerely
believed that, ever since, Australian soccer has been cursed."

The national team qualified for the 1974 World Cup but suffered a run of
gut-wrenching defeats, topped off by the 1997 Iranian disaster and the
tear-jerker in Uruguay four years ago.

When Warren told him the story last year, Safran decided to go to Africa to
do a story about the curse for his show John Safran vs God.

The wftchdoctor had died, but Safran found another who could channel him by
going to the stadium at which the Rhodesia game had been played 35 years

"That involved us sifting in the middle of the pitch and he killed a chicken
and splattered the blood all over me," Safran said.

"I then had to go to Telstra Stadium With Johnny and we had to wash
ourselves in some clay the witchdoctor had given us."

Safran watched the game at a friend's place. He said he had forgot ten about
the story until he began receiving emails from people thanking him for
having lifted the curse.

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