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  • Writer's pictureEmily Raven

Award Winning Muzungu

We are delighted to hear that one of our favourite authors Rod Madocks has WON in the non-fiction category for his memoir Muzungu in the prestigious Rubery prize. We chanced upon some of Rod's excellent writing online a couple of years ago and immediately contacted him asking if he'd contribute a piece to We later received his full length memoir, Muzungu which was then published by Dogberry Books. Well deserved, Rod!

Here's what the judges of the Rubery award said about Muzungu...

'This is an intelligent and compelling memoir about growing up in Rhodesia in the mid-twentieth century. The title itself, Muzungu (slang for a white person, with connotations of purposeless wandering) offers a sense of how the country shapes the author’s identity: the legacy of his upbringing follows him to England, and endures throughout his life. Madocks describes his relationship with his parents, both of whom are drawn with sensitivity and skill, as are some of the staff who feature in his early life, most notably Jonas who re-enters his thoughts touchingly in the final passages. The book teems with interesting anecdotes, harrowing moments, and fascinating insights into local culture as Rhodesia moves inexorably toward independence. The fact that Madocks takes issue with post-colonial revisionist narratives might not be in tune with everyone’s opinion, but the author makes many worthwhile points. The second half of the book covers his life when he comes back to England, but there’s a lingering sadness that hovers over this section, and the reader comes to realise how the early years abroad have shaped and haunted his entire life. It offers us an understanding of how deep the roots of childhood penetrate, and how hard it is to adapt to a new country which is familiar to the parents but alien to the child. There is much to think about in this excellent memoir.​'

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