I know I said our cultural adventures would begin in March, but I’m in the why wait kind of mood. So, our fun begins in Africa.
Where in the world is Zimbabwe?
Considered located in Eastern Africa, but more often referred to as Southern Africa, Zimbabwe only gained its independence in 1980. Which means it’s only one year older than me, making it a very young country. Some of its main exports are tobacco, alloys, cotton, sugar beet/cane and diamonds. Tourism is also a major economic source for the country. We’ll discover exactly why in a later post.
Why in the world did you set a story in Zimbabwe?
In Fierce Wild, my first published short story, Salima Pavia fights poachers, stubborn rhinos, and an attraction to a ruthless mercenary to keep the black rhino sanctuary her parents founded a decade ago running smoothly. So, I had to go where the rhinoceros are. Them being a critically endangered species made that a list pitifully small.
Between 1970 and 1992, 96% of Africa’s remaining black rhinos were killed in a wave of poaching for their horns (WWF) and though their modest numbers have stabilized over the last decade the threat remains, due to Eastern cultures’ historical beliefs that the horns hold medicinal powers and religious meaning.
This gorgeous picture was provided by Derek Keats
Ending on a happy note…many African countries, Zimbabwe being one of the front runners in this effort, are investing land in the form of reserves and money for militia-like guards to protect the rhinoceros and by extension their rich heritage.