one hundred and four horses

Zimbabwe is the country of my birth and where I grew up, and even though I no longer liver there, part of me will always remain a Zimbabwean. I always keep an eye out for new books about the country and when I saw this one, I knew I had to read it. Most current books about Zimbabwe are books about the events that have happened there during and since the farm invasions and One Hundred and Four Horses is no different. It is about Mandy and Pat Retzlaff, husband and wife, horse lovers and owners, who end up losing their farm but in the process end up taking not only their own horses but the horses of fellow farmers who left the country, across Zimbabwe and into Mozambique. It is a heartbreaking and bittersweet book, but descriptive and well written, giving the reader insight into those times of uncertainty and hardship that most Zimbabweans had to endure – and still do. When most people would have given up and called it quits, the Retzlaffs never gave up on their horses. I don’t come from an equine background but I love animals and have ridden a couple of times (long ago!). However, regardless of whether you ride or not, or come from an equine background, this book is well worth the read.

Interestingly, Mozambique is now facing uncertain times ahead with upcoming elections and worries that the country may be plunged back into civil war. Let’s hope not. So far, only Central Mozambique has had “incidents”, so let’s hope that the situation can be resolved peacefully and not spread and affect the rest of the country, because as usual, if not, it’s the innocent who as usual will suffer.

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