Fire on a tinder-dry vlei

Another fire on the vlei; I see it all before me. October and November are the bushfire months. Six months without rain has turned the bush of the vlei into a prêt-à-porter bonfire heap which wearily whispers to the hot wind to speed up the arrival of the wild fires. Only then will the exhausted vegetation be absolved from further responsibility: free to muse over their rebirth at the first drop of November rain, leaving their ashen roots to plan the mortal details of their rebirth.

Allan Taylor, author Luanshya musings

Christopher Mulenga

                           Christopher Mulenga

Tribal dancers

As far as I could tell, everyone on the Copperbelt went to the Ndola Agricultural Show. There were army parades, air force displays; the police band, horse jumping events, agricultural displays, and lots of prize farm animals.

For me however, the best thing at the Ndola Agricultural show was the tribal dancing; and the Shangaan and Makishi dancers were there every year.

Allan Taylor author Luanshya musings

Dancer African Soul

                     African Soul. Shangaan dancers


The leopard

The leopard was like one of those elusive forms – those strange footprints that propelled me to follow my affinities and desires. He evoked an intangible force that weighed upon the behaviour of all creatures. His arrival sliced through the trivial monkey goings-on in the African bush. The leopard’s presence created an impala ear-twitching silence that punctuated the African day with its taloned intent – a final warning against any further frivolity. Slow-flow turned instantly into short-lived pain, a quick death and spilt blood when an unfortunate animal submitted its fear of self-preservation to the Soul of the leopard. There is not an animal on the veld that is unaware of the leopard’s ability to alter the psyche of the common herd.

Allan Taylor, author of Luanshya musings


Shenton Safaris Mfuwe

An overbearing darkness

Evening going-homes as a small and only child, on the back seat of a fifties British Austin car, were frightening.

The n’anga’s, witchdoctor’s, drums were calling, they were always calling … I couldn’t hear them … they tapped a call of anxious urgency in my veins and on my mind. Happily relaxed after sundowners at the club, my parents couldn’t hear them: they weren’t meant to hear them…only I was.  Hugging my knees on the back seat, I tackled them alone in the colour-faded dusk, which turned forest shadows into canyons of fear. My thin frame, in high-waisted grey shorts, black lace-up shoes and three quarter socks pulled up to my little knees was a poor defence against the overbearing spread of spiritual dark that crept up on me on those vulnerable journeys home. ‘No we can’t drive with the interior light on,’ said my father with a slight beer slur of words.

Luanshya musings