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NRJ Vol II No. 6, 1954 p.89

Volume II - No. 6 – 1954 - pages 89 & 90


We give below some interesting extracts from A Thousand Miles in the Heart of Africa, by J. du Plessis:

Page 129.
“... Petauke, the residence of the Native Commissioner for the surrounding district, whom the natives style ‘Dongorosi’. What English name ‘Dongorosi’ was meant to represent was a problem which I could not solve. Eventually I decided that ‘Dongorosi’ stood for for ‘Douglas’, but my guess was fat from the truth, for at Petauke I learnt conclusively that ‘Dongorosi’ was Thornicroft. Such is the fate that befalls good English names when uttered by native lips."

Page 156.
“... the Native Commissioner here (Feira) is Mr. Shekleton ... I must not forget that my followers only know Feira by the name of the local Commissioner. For them the place is ` Sheketani ', which is their version of Shekleton."

Page 157.
“... One morning as we were nearing the Panyami River, we suddenly ran up against a string of nine camels. They were intended to inaugurate a postal service by camel to Fort Jameson, and were being taken north to Feira by a certain Colonel Flint. My men had never seen such animals before, and were filled with consternation. Taking care to have a bush or a tree between themselves and the objects of their dread, they watched me conversing with Colonel Flint, and wondered, no doubt, at my temerity."




In the Mumbwa District Notebook is a long discussion by the late J. Gibson Hall on the origin and history of the Ila. The conclusions arrived at were so inconclusive that another District Officer, Tom Chicken, put the following verse at the end of the long inquiry:

        The Baila according to Hall,
        Were never anybody at all.
        He told Munga-ila
        He wasn't a Mw-ila,
        But a Ghurka from farthest Nepal.



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