We are going to shift focus from Medieval Europe to late 20th century Africa, from a tentative study of remote history to a more autobiographical mode.

This item appeared on the BBC news app a couple of days ago. I shared it with a friend back in Zimbabwe knowing they were experiencing this lamentable situation first hand. The elation of finally seeing the back of “Uncle Bob” has gradually given way to the realisation that not much has actually changed. A far cry from the situation 20 years ago when I was project architect for the refurbishment of the Victoria Falls Hotel.

In those days Vic Falls was a tourism Gold Mine, and my boss Mike Clinton well placed as the first choice architect for Zimbabwe Sun Hotels. The terrace front shown above had been horrendously modernised in 1950s style plate glass modern. We restored the verandah based on old photographs, extended the terrace and added side pavilions as suggested by the interior design consultant.

He also proposed a new…

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