41 – The Book of Gideon (postscript)

41:         Postscript

In conformance with his last wishes, as conveyed to me by the executor of Gideon’s estate,  I have proceeded with the preparations for the publication of his book.

The editorial changes made were minimal. Certain repetitions were removed,and minor final proof corrections  executed. Only a handful of sections have been thus affected, with a goal to improving the tomes readability, and in no way altering its gist.

At the advice of our attorney, the names of certain characters in the narrative, who may  otherwise be recognized from the context of his writing, have been changed for reasons of privacy.

After his diagnosis, Gideon spent his last months writing his  book. This he did mainly here in the cottage on my property in Lusaka. However sections were written at Sophia’s Hillside home inn Bulawayo, as well as during visits with Precious at her lovely house outside Livingston near the Victoria Falls, or with Lauren in her penthouse in Cape Town’s docklands.

After all, we all loved him, and being Gideon, always cheerful, even at the end, said how he was one of the luckiest men in the world, having had his unusual eclectic life, surrounded by incredible friends.  Especially with those who allowed him to avoid cloistering choices.

With regard to the events and people described in his narrative, in the years since the tragic occurrence on the river, like the leaves of the Jacarandas he described, they too have been scattered by the winds of time.

The media attention following that tragedy appears to have curtailed cartel interest iin the Kafue and Lunga-Luswishi areas. Like them, the Russians and the old nganga man have faded into the fabric of Africa.

For a while Gideon was replaced in his position in the Kafue area by the son of a German sponsor. The young man return to Germany within months following his first bout with malaria. Gideon was asked to step back into the position, and performed it with great success until his health forced him to give up his work.

Over the past few years Lauren and Precious’s design partnership has thrived. Now with a cosmopolitan outreach, no doubt the reader will be familiar with their ubiquitous  orange and white logo.

After losing his only daughter, Mustafa became a changed man. He sank into a shadow of is former self.

Gideon never had the courage to tell Mustafa that he may have another child.  However, given my relationship with the Beyh family, I did.

Surprisingly, as a result, it was Mustafa who reached out to Moses, and even more surprisingly, that Moses responded positively to the outreach.

The Beyh family has embraced Moses, where he now runs certain of the challenging activities of their conglomerate.

Given my relationship with his uncle, and his best friend, I have frequent contact with them all.

Finally, I would like to thank the lodge management for hosting Gideon and Moses at their camping site when they ‘went back to the bush’  for one last time. Gideon wanted Moses to be at his side for his final float to the estuary of his life.

Also a further thank you to the lodge for hosting the many friends who came to scatter Gideon’s ashes, per his request, on the crown of the hill over- looking the confluence of the Kafue and Lunga Rivers.

Gideon chose this special spot allowing his spirit to join and guard over Narina’s until Moses relieves his watch, and we too join him someday to rekindle and bask in the magnificence of our African togetherness.

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Humbly – Claudia Firks

(Lusaka – 14 March 2021)