Josias Tembo

This article appeared in The Herald newspaper in 1983, three years after Zimbabwe became independent,  and tells the story of Tembo who worked loyally and diligently for the Bloom family for well over 60 years.  He symbolises for many white, Jewish (but of course non-Jewish as well) families in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe the very special and unique relationship which often existed between employer and employee. The political environment surrounding these relationships was not simple by any means and were based on racist policies by the governments of the time. The terminology at the time to describe the working relationship was often “master” and “servant” which was certainly anachronistic and open to powerful forces that sought to and which did succeed in liberating  the disenfranchised blacks (see the text of the article). I felt it was important to record this story in the framework of life in Rhodesia at the time.  Other members of the community have posted similar stories of their staff.