We had a Muslim cook in our house in Zimbabwe and one year we decided to take him into the safari area to assist Timoti, the tall and very much liked Matabele camp cook. The camp was on the banks of the Zambezi in the north of the Chewore Safari Area across from Zambia on the north bank. The house cooks name was Frank. The journey into the proposed camping site was crazy far from Harare and the track was a nightmare. When we did get there with the Landcruiser, hunting cars and the 7 ton Isuzu loaded with supplies and everything to build the camp everyone fell out of the truck and we rolled out the sleeping mats and stretcher beds and without further ado the whole team greeted the night by being fast asleep very quickly. The next morning everyone was famished as we had slept without supper the night before, we needed to have more than a few canned beans and corn meal to eat so I went out onto the flood plain and in short order collected an Impala for the pot.

The crew were delighted when I pulled in with the Impala and set about skinning and butchering the animal right away. The crew had the pot going with the meat along with their vegetables and corn meal which is like grits, their staple diet, when along comes Frank to say to me that he cannot eat the meat because he did not cut the animals throat and intone the Muslim prayer. Well I had a big box with earth worms for fishing which was always part of our equipment especially when our two kids were with us, they love to fish and so I gave Frank a little tin can with some worms in it and a piece of fishing line and a hook and told him he can fish for his food but not in my time and left it at that. About an hour later I was driving out in the Landcruiser to hunt another Impala as the first one was not going to last long and as I drove past where the crew were eating and there was Frank stuffing himself with Impala stew. I stopped and asked him what the hell he was doing eating this non-halal meat, he grinned at me with his mouth full of Impala stew and said “God will not see me this far from town.” African reasoning – can you beat that!