Saturday, July 20, 2024

Letter to Queen Elizabeth!

Hello grandma. I am writing to you from Africa. Actually I am in a place called Botswana. It is a nice country in the southern bit of the continent. Chelsy and I are holidaying in the Okavango delta. Grandma, you should come and see this place for yourself. It is paradise on earth. It is a place of breathtaking beauty and there is so much wildlife. Anything you can think of is to be found here.

This is my fifth visit and every experience is better than the last. The only people who come here for their holidays are whites. I have never seen any of the natives on holiday. I once asked one of the game lodge owners and he said it is because the blacks find it too expensive. He also gave me a nudge and a wink and whispered that as lodge owners they prefer it that way. I find it strange. I mean the natives own the country and yet they cannot visit the Okavango because it is beyond their means. I guess I shouldn’t be too judgmental.
I have been here so many times and I don’t even know any of the local towns and cities. I can’t even say a greeting in the local language. I think on my next visit I should make it a point that I learn a few words. I should also visit the capital city. I hear the locals drink copious amounts of liquor. I would love to see them in action. C’mon now, grandma, don’t get cross with me. I say I want to watch the locals drinking, not drink with them.

The other strange thing about the Okavango delta is that all the lodges and camps are owned by white people. Not a single one is owned by a native. Somewhat odd, I must say. I think the lodge owners must do something about this state of affairs. The reason we lost Zimbabwe is because all the white folks there, mainly of British extraction, kept all the land and resources to themselves. I know it is terrible what happened in Zimbabwe. But I can’t blame the poor blacks for seeking to regain what is rightfully theirs. I mean I cannot think of a single black person who owns chunks of prime land in our country.

This issue of ownership worries Chelsy a lot. As you know grandma she is from Zimbabwe. Another strange thing about this part of the world is that the whites still refer to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia. When we are with her friends they don’t say they come from Zimbabwe, but prefer to say Rhodesia. They say the blacks have messed up Rhodesia and now they are messing up South Africa. I just listen because if the blacks are that bad the whites would not own all the lodges and tourist resorts. I mean the natives could have simply shot the whole lot at independence.

I just hope the people of Botswana don’t get funny ideas and emulate their kith next door in Zimbabwe. So far, they are just fine and well behaved. The people who serve us in the camp are very nice and courteous. There is something about Africans. They are always smiling and seem not to have a care in the world. I don’t understand. One of the camp owners did warn us to be careful though. He said a smiling African is a dangerous African. I don’t think so. I think they are just nice people who happen to be very poor.

Grandma, they also like dancing. In some of the camps they have hired groups of Africans to dance for the tourists every evening at dinner. Grandma, you are probably wondering about our safety. Relax, we are just fine. We have a security team from home. I have noticed something about white people here. They are different from us who live in Europe and America. They are not happy. I wonder if it is the heat and the mosquitoes. I have concluded that white people who live in Africa are a nasty bunch.

The other night, we were sitting around a camp fire with lions roaring in the background and all they did was moan and complain. They are always telling sad stories of how they lost everything when the blacks took over. In the evenings after getting drunk they always talk of how one day, after messing up everything, the blacks will beg them to take charge again. I have never seen such a sorry bunch of people.

One day, I asked one of the managers why he doesn’t move to Europe if things are so bad. In reply he said he has never been there in his entire life and he is scared he will get lost. I asked him how far he had gone in school. He surprised me by saying that in Africa white people don’t have to be educated to hold well paying jobs. However, he expressed fear that things are changing fast, especially in South Africa. That is why he left that country.

A lot of the whites here in the delta speak a language similar to Dutch called Afrikaans. These Dutch settler descendants are, by the way, the worst racists. I suppose it is only natural because they used to run a hideous system called apartheid. Chelsy knows the language. She has taught me a few words. Sometimes when the Afrikaners think I don’t understand they reminisce about how apartheid was a wonderful system.

On a few occasions they have reportedly fought amongst themselves over who surrendered the country to the blacks. One very sad man said the white race should just hand everything over to the blacks. He said with America set to be run by a black chap it was all over. Grandma, I think the local blacks should be careful. If they don’t get rid of some of the nasty whites around here, very soon the delta will be an apartheid enclave.

I wonder whether I should bring the issue to the attention of dad. Surely he will talk to the Prime Minister who will in turn talk to the government here, which frankly seems fast asleep. If you ask me, it would seem a lot of the white men in the delta are worried that the blacks will take their women. They say the natives took power. Then they took the land. They will soon take over the lodges and after that they will come after the white women. That is their biggest fear. The whites of Africa are a strange lot.

Grandma, on a rather sad note, things between me and Chelsy are not working out. On my next visit I am going to bring along my black girlfriend.
I look forward to seeing the reaction of the racists here!

Love you lots.

Your grandson


Read this week's paper