“Who’s that, Daddy?” Eric asked his father.

“That’s Cecil John Rhodes.”

“Who’s he?” Emily asked.

“He was an Englishman who believed in British colonialism.  He was the founder of the southern African territory of Rhodesia which was named after him in 1895. South Africa’s Rhodes University is also named after him. 

“What does your hinterland is there mean?” Erick asked, pointing to the inscription on the statue.

“I think he was talking about the British expansion to the north of South Africa.”

“Daddy, I’m hungry,” Emily said.

87 Words

This was written for the Weekend Writing Prompt by Sammi Cox. For instructions, click Here.

Sources: Wikipedia; South African History Online;

14 Replies to “Rhodes”

  1. Ah, this was done in true kid fashion (and priorities …).
    Also, how fascinating about this statue!
    As for Rhodesia, I had lived there briefly as a child, when it was still called that. We left before the ‘change’, and I could not for the life of me comprehend the pervasive inequities. It deeply distressed me, but there was no one to really ask. Taboos are like that, aren’t they? I comprehend the dynamics of power and greed in racism better these days, but they distress me no less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Kids are so cool. I stumbled across this statue yesterday and thought that it would be nice to write a post about it. Have you visited Rhodesia since you left? Yes, there are certain things which people don’t want to ask about or discuss–too uncomfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I have not been to Zimbabwe since. I would like, to, however. It’s on my list, along with some other beautiful places in Africa. I’d love to see Balancing Rocks again, and travel to Mosi-oa-Tunya (some in my family had visited Victoria Falls at the time, but I was too young to accompany them) and see the Jacaranda trees in bloom again, arching over the streets and making pink/purple sidewalks … and and and …
        People often refuse to speak of things that bring up shame and guilt. Perhaps they don’t want to be reminded of injustices their and theirs had indulged and allowed and perhaps committed themselves. Still, we cannot learn from history or grow above it without facing truth and accepting the harms done and the pseudo-justifications for that harm. Similar to how the Church had murdered and tortured and burnt people, in the supposed name of God, when in fact it was done to maintain power, to control people, and to increase riches for the few while keeping the many ignorant and subservient.
        But … I’m heartened to see more people moving toward facing history in all it’s non-glorious-but-still-instructive squalor and splendor. We can learn and become better persons.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a friend who was born in Zimbabwe. I can’t remember how recently she has been there or if she has been there since she left years ago. I guess it would be a bittersweet experience for you to visit there again. It would be a treat to visit Victoria Falls now since you couldn’t when you were a child.

        You’re right. People don’t speak of certain things because it’s too unsettling and they are reminders of their own culpability. History is there for us to learn for it and to hopefully do better. And the church is no different. It has persecuted and killed many who upheld God’s Word as their foundation for their faith rather than the traditions of the church. And people have been killed in the name of God. People were kept in ignorance of God’s truth while the church got rich off their ignorance. Yes, History is there to help us to learn and become better people. It’s not there for us to repeat.

        Liked by 1 person

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