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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
I chose to review this book as I was curious to learn more about the recent history of Rhodesia, later to become Zambia and Zimbabwe. I was not disappointed as in Bushcat: Minstrel of the Wild, the author, John Edmond, takes us through all the major events, highlighting the early rulers, Mzilikazi and Shaka Zulu, right up to the last century. In this memoir, he takes us from his childhood, through the bush war and UDI to the stepping down of Sir Ian Smith and beyond. Moving to Johannesburg, the author, already a renowned musician, breaks into the industry in Johannesburg, South Africa, eventually running the Gallo Music Company. What makes this book particularly interesting is the inclusion of the lyrics of the words to the huge number of songs he wrote which reflect the history and events of those times. His work took him all over the world, but the bush always called him back, often to dangerous areas of Zimbabwe when he frequently was called upon to entertain the troops.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bushcat: Minstrel of the Wild by John Edmond. The book is well written, informative, and full of amusing, sad and thoughtful recollections of the second half of the twentieth century in southern Africa. The reader gets a broad picture of the people and events, not only from the descriptions of the concerts John gave, and the fascinating people he met and performed with, but especially from the words to the songs he includes in each chapter. In themselves, the lyrics tell the story of life in Africa in the last days of white rule before the descent into the modern day chaos which followed. A well deserved five stars.