The Magic and Curse of the Magnificent Shiva Ngandu Zambian House
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In London 1976, I was fortunate to meet Lady Lorna Gore-Browne (77 yo) wife and Penelope, granddaughter (25), of the famous British/Zambian legend, Sir Stewart Gore-Browne (1893-1972), called ‘Black heart’. He was the only white man to serve on the newly indepedent government when Zambia got its independence in 1964. He was also the only white man in the history of Zambia to have been given a state funeral, with a eulogy given by then-President Kenneth Kaunda. Then, I got to visit and stay in what I considered “The last bastion of British Colonialism” in the modern age - At the magnificent and, indeed, magical “Shiwa House” (or 'Shiwa Ngandu Manor House’ ). The legend of the magical house is accurately told in the movie The Curse of the Africa House.
The mansion, the lake and 25,000 acre estate around it were, indeed, magical and equally high in British standards. I could easily imagine the hundreds of African men who took many months to carry the sofas, reclining chairs, book shelves, books and everything else for the royal mansion from the port of Dar-A-Salam, Tanzania, thousands of miles to the east.
In addition to my ‘anthropological’ curiosity, I studied the potential fisheries of the nearby lake by spending wonderful long days on small fishing boats mixing with the local friendly fishermen.
London 1976 to Zambia
Learning of a magical mansion
From my old dear friend, Lady Gore-Brown
Later, my eyes, hypnotically, landed on the Shiva Ngandu
The last bastion of British Colonialism
A treasure trove
Of riches opening before my very eyes
History, blossomimg around my shoulders