I feel there is no long term future for the white man in this country unless he learns to live comfortably with the black. To that end, I find myself more and more interested in the education of the black instead of white. John Hammond, Southern Rhodesia, 1935.
Beloved African tells the story of the life and career over four decades of John Hammond, one of Rhodesias foremost educators of the black population, of his heartbreak at the political turmoil of the country he loved, and throws light on the current plight of Zimbabwe. The book is also the story of the great love between John and his wife Nancy, the daughter of an English country vet who left England and all she loved to follow him. It tells of their struggle through separation, war, disease and natural disaster and of the enduring strength they found in each other.
John Hammond was an extraordinary man son of the headmaster of a remote European school in Plumtree, Rhodesia. He was born in a pole and dagga (wattle and daub) hut and wore no shoes until he was 14. Brought up speaking Ndebele like a native, he tracked with Ndebele friends over weekends and shot for the school and the village pot. His decision to go into black education following his MA at Cambridge University is the vital core of this book. Johns Christian faith runs as a thread through the book, giving insight into the motivation and strength of character that inspired him and so impressed the black population that he was called our father the great teacher, loved by all Africans.
The story is told by Jill Baker, the daughter of John Hammond. It is written as very personal narrative in the voice of her mother Nancy.
Beloved African by Jill Baker was published by Roperpenberthy Publishing in January 2009 and is our 40496th best seller. The ISBN for Beloved African is 9781903905357.