Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who died on 29 August at the age of 85, was born in Kendal, Hanover Parish, in the west of Jamaica. He worked first in the cane fields and then as a tractor driver on a road construction project in Negril. It was from the noise of rocks being broken up that he got his first ideas about music: ‘I learn everything from stone,’ he later said.
On 11 November 1965, the Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith announced a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from imperial Britain. Smith’s decision was designed to head off majority rule. One of his fiercest opponents was Kenneth Kaunda, the president of neighbouring Zambia, which had won independence in 1964. Kaunda, who died of pneumonia last month at the age of 97, stood up for almost thirty years to a formidable alliance of diehard colonial neighbours – the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique, the British in Rhodesia and the apartheid regime in South Africa – exposing his own country to harsh reprisals from white minority rule. He left office in 1991.
Earlier this year Harare City Library unveiled the Doris Lessing Special Collection, 3500 of the writer’s books donated to the library after her death. Lessing lived in Southern Rhodesia between 1925 (when she was six) and 1949.