Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hammer and the Mpika Elephant Hunters' graveyard...

In the early 70's while working in the Bangweulu for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, I employed someone to take care of the old elephant hunters' graveyard at Mpika boma, usually the responsibility of the Ranger, Mpika. But this being an old mazungu graveyard, when the former Rangers Poles and Les Allen had long since left, and I as well, it remain uncared for. In 2003, on my return to Zambia, I visited the site and found it completely overgrown, the aircraft propeller and the elephant bones which had lain so long on Charlie Ross's grave, missing, and gravestones lying hither an thither. I immediately hired 20 people with hoes and put them to work. At the end of the day, having finished the job, and admiring how good it all looked, a man came strolling along, quickening his pace suddenly while still some distance off.
"What has happened here? he inquired.
"We've just cleaned the old place up".
"But I wrote over a year ago to the Council, asking for permission to clear it, but they never replied. How did you get permission?"
"I didn't".
This was my first meeting with Hammer. Since then he has cared for the place, working on plans for an information centre, perhaps later a library. An unusual man this, I thought.


brainsplus said...

I would like to link your blog to mine Please let me know if you would allow this and hopefully you can link mine to yours as well ... thanks a trillion

ipam said...

Please do,!