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  • Hardcover
  • 270 pages
  • The Story of my life
  • joshua nkomo
  • English
  • 02 September 2014
  • 9780413545008

10 thoughts on “The Story of my life

  1. says:

    A good counterpart to Ian Smith's memoirs The life story of the leader of the ZAPU A funny earthy and determined man Covers the bush war and post independence Half terrorist half statesman he would have made a far better leader of Zimbabwe that Robert Mugabe Enjoyable but sadnothing in my life had prepared me for persecution at the hands of a government led by black Africans

  2. says:

    This is an excellent read Really enjoyed the book from beginning to end Nkomo is shown to be a fighter a pragmatic knowing the limits of his strength and extremely humorous Growing up I have always seen him as the father figure he is to our people but this book definitely humanised him Such a great man in a rotten environment I only wonder what could have been of Zimbabwe had he been president

  3. says:

    Zimbabwe's liberation and the early post independence periods are filled with intrigue and controversy Hence materials released by those who played key and substantive roles during those periods must be read and studied to help us understand those periods meaningfully Unfortunately most of the key players during those epochs did not write any books Most of them are now dead and buried with their knowledge and insights We are however thankful to Maurice Nyagumbo Ndabaningi Sithole Ian Smith Ken flower Dydmus Mutasa Dzinashe Machingura Fay Chung and Agrrippa Mutambara who did take their time to writeJoshua Nkomo's Story of my life is particularly important than the above mentioned autobiographies simply because he was the undisputed leader for the nationalist movement for almost 15 years This makes him one of the most well known and longest serving personality in the Zimbabwean nationalist politics However this autobiography like all other autobiographies is littered with intentional and unintentional biases and gaps derived from self censorship One of his intentional biases is his false claim that he did not know why Julius Nyerere did not like him It is a common secret that Julius Nyerere did not approve of Nkomo's penchant for travelling and his long stays outside the country These disagreements came to a head when Nkomo wanted to set up a government in exile On the part of self censorship he states without mentioning names that Chitepo was killed by his colleagues Nkomo was in Zambia at the time on top of having his own intelligence he had access to Kaunda's intelligence which carried out the investigation since they were friends That said it is my belief that when this book is read in conjunction with other autobiographies and other sources of history can really help unravel some of the historical falsehoods cluttered in our national historyThe book itself is very interesting written in simple and flowing English It begins with Nkomo's dramatic escape into Botswana on the 8th of March 1983 In his own words he was driven into exile by the armed killers of prime minister Robert Mugabe This immediately sets the tone of the book However immediately after he delves into his early childhood his christian upbringing his educational experience both in Zimbabwe and later in South Africa and his early work with trade unionism and multiracial politics In the main this book is an account of the liberation struggle and Nkomo's role in that struggle It is also an account of the continuing undemocratic link of persecution from the colonial to the post independence eraDespite some biases and some obvious self censorship gaps the book remains a must read for those wishing to have glimpses into the liberation history of Zimbabwe

  4. says:

    A read full of humor and painful journey of the Zimbabwean people to gain independence from Colonial rule Well written and narrated though with a very sad ending which Zimbabwean citizen have lived and some have born to experience1 major lesson obtained from it Never be too trusting of anybody we may be fighting the same enemy but it doesn't mean we are on the same side

  5. says:

    This made me respect for Nkomo the person even deeper He brought humanity to politics which I believe should be the way anyway but seemed to be his political undoingI couldn't help noticing that JMN as with other great men of his era met with people who would become important figures during the formative stages of his career People such as Dumbutchena Chitepo Mandela and etc Even young men who would later become British MPs and African presidents I believe this company had an effect of making JMN a statesman of the highest order something that would reuire extraordinary circumstances to be replicated in our generationI expected to read about what took place during JMN's short exile at the height of Gukurahundi I guess that was the stuff taken out by the government as they watered down the original piercing version The Story of My Life I could feel that something was taken out in the Repression and Outcast chapters hence my four starsI'm really happy I managed to read this important book

  6. says:

    I AM enchanted by Nkomo's take on himself He writes of and about himself as if he was just an ordinary human being This guys is too humble If i had done a mere fraction of the things he has done i would crown myself King of AfricaThere were dark times really dark times in the life of the Old Man Mdala Wethu but he just never gave up From the 1940s right through to the 1980s staring at impossible odds the one uality that always kept him going was his ability to see the human element in everyone including his oppressors This book is should be a reference to anyone who wishes understand the history of Zimbabwe and the thinking of that great generation of Africans that dared to challenge oppression There are encounters with Abdel Nasser Olusegun Obasanjo Ken Kaunda Kwame Nkruma Mwalimu Nyerere Nelson Mandela and many others These encounters will help decode the thinking and ideas of Africa's founding generation Besides being the story of his life the book also subtly teaches the important virtues of life by taking the reader through real life scenarios as they happened Joshua was never bitter he was courageous he was never vengeful he was forgiving he never gave up and remained hopeful to the end South Africa has Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela the Isaraelites had Moses Zimbabwe has Joshua Nkomo

  7. says:

    Nkomo a shy unconfident child grew up to become a focused man who was full of good intentions His vision to unite everyone in Zimbabwe comes across very strongly in his words and his determination to bring black majority rule to his homeland was the centre of his life I am sure the debate will continue as to whether anyone would have been influential enough to be able to unite all Zimbabweans given the snake that patiently waited in the grass for the right time to strike ultimately destroying NkomoHis political activities lead to Nkomo being retained in a remote location in a national park close to the Mozambiue border The location described in the book reminded me of a friend’s story during the country’s transition period when he accompanied a senior army official by air to the border then walking along a railway track to a group of abandoned huts waiting for a meeting with Samora Machel who never arrived Nkomo had many visitors for a number of years but as time went on visitor restrictions were put in place and later he was moved to a secure locationNkomo provides a good insight to the constant bickering and discontentment between the different political and guerrilla groups during the war though the detail as to why the different groups were so far apart and unable to unite is missing He describes Bishop Muzorewa selection to front the ANC office and is scornful that the Bishop thought he had any support from the people After reading the Bishop Muzorewa’s autobiography book I thought the Bishop had been very cleverly manipulated by multiple people who had their own agendas though it appeared Muzorewa couldn’t see it Many times the reader was left confused and puzzled as some of the events and it is strange that Muzorewa couldn’t work it out himself that some things were not as they seemed Nkomo’s book backs this up though it is still not clear who pulling the strings Nkomo writes about the poor conditions his trainee troops faced in Tanzania the lack of food badly treated by the Chinese instructors and the terrible deaths that occurred due to constant in fighting between the trainees I felt saddened by the terrible loss of life people were just cannon fodder I wonder if their families found out what happened to their children Nkomo did not explain why the Chinese were providing the military training as he did not have any ties to China Perhaps Nyerere played a role here; Nkomo’s relationship with Nyerere was sometimes strainedNkomo spent his time travelling the world seeking international support and he describes the responses he received from various countries In the end Russia provided a lot of support though it took a long time and Cuban support I read in another book written by an influential Russian that the Russians did not hold Nkomo in high regard contributing to the lengthy time before any support was forthcoming Nkomo’s army was well disciplined and well organised a force to be reckoned with whereas Mugabe’s forces were political reaching out to the urban areasMany peace talks with the Smith regime were arranged and failed leading to the Zambia Summit where the President of Zambia Kaunda managed to influence Margret Thatcher not to recognise Muzowera’s leadership of Zimbabwe Rhodesia thus ultimately leading to the Lancaster House agreements During those talks Nkomo prepared an invasion force Russia increased training and provided military aircraft as ZIPRA geared itself up to move towards a full scale conflict Nkomo says that it was all secretly done however the British knew about it and they also understood the vital importance of getting agreement regardless of what it was in as short a time as possible This explains why the Lancaster House agreements fell desperately short of a suitable agreed constitution failed to remove the oppressive laws that had been put in place as a result of the war and completely ignored resolving the land issue Lord Carrington was under great pressure to get a solution otherwise the escalation of the war with the additional Russian armoury could have been a complete disaster Nkomo says himself that the signed agreement wasn’t satisfactoryThree months later Zimbabwe elections were held despite repeated reports of intimadation Nkomo's account is as I remember it along with other stories I had heard of Portuguese speaking people centering the country and causing trouble Nkomo voices his doubts on free and fair elections which were ignored as did the Smith regime supported by Nyerere's voice until he was visited by Mugabe Prior to the results announcement Mugabe said that he had won 56 seats infact he won 55 seats The paper votes were flown to Britain and then burned There is no historical evidence of the vote numbers In the future I am sure historians will want to understand this in detail as the process is suspicious and I have had personal accounts that some of the ballot boxes were empty Without the evidence it will never be knownThe book provides a good insight to the “Father Zimbabwe” as he is known Nkomo's complete passion for black majority rule enable him to drive through his messages to get the support he needed despite the time it took and at times it must have been very difficult to keep moving through all the constant setbacks I am not convinced he made the right decisions at the right time impacting his ability to be able to influence and gain the absolute support he was looking for The shooting down of two civilian Viscount aircraft must have impacted international political opinion even though there was an international “deafening silence” Nkomo explains that he was asked in an interview he was asked what weapon was used to shoot the aircraft out of the sky and he said they threw stones laughing at the time as he did not want to reveal what weapon they had This only served to increase the public outrage against the event His denial survivors were murdered increased the rage felt by those who were terrified that he would come to power as this represented who they would have to work with in the future Public perception is very important and these events I have no doubt damaged him considerably which is sad given his apparent passion for a unified countryVery informative book and not difficult to read A great influential leader Who knows perhaps things would have been different if he had come to power

  8. says:

    Excellent read that gives the reader a genuine picture of the liberation struggle that took place in Zimbabwe and the beginning of the rot under Mugabe It is refreshing to read an account from the man who faced persecution from both regimes of Smith and Mugabe unlike perverted texts that is readily available in every bookshop which is bent to distort our values as a people Despite tribulations and humiliation Nkomo encountered throughout his life time he never betrayed his people and actually he called for the country to join together in the face of adversity The befitting title Father Zimbabwe was the best tribute to paid to the humble giant

  9. says:

    A book that shed a lot of light on uestions I had wrt ZAPU ZANU and the relationship with the ANC SA Since the publication of the book Nkomo returned to govt in a one party state ZANU significant land reform the emergence of the MDC and recently the ouster of Robert Mugabe A recent attempt on the life of current President Mnangagwa is a clear indication that Zim is still a country in turmoil

  10. says:

    A deep insight into the life of the Father Zimbabwe A man who died for his beliefs and stayed by his principles Father Zimbabwe will ever be Cherished Long live his legacy

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