RADIO RHODESIA          - 12/7/2016      <--Prev : Next-->

At 6am the morning call would go out announcing what meter band and wave length the RBC could be picked up on.
When I think of this, somehow the aroma of toast and Jungle Oats come to mind. Between 6 and 6:30am a short recap of the news and weather forecast for the day were given, some music played and then, 'voila! it was time for Leslie to perform his magic and get the children out of bed with his "Get up up up" routine. He usually followed with a kiddie song like "Teddy Bears' picnic or "Pink Toothbrush" but the greatest was when, once a year, he would play a short piece each morning from a story about a fat Chinese boy who fell down a well but because of his long name lost potential rescuers when he would call out for help. His name that being Nicky Nicky Tembo etc etc.
Leslie was always so much fun to wake up to in the morning, it almost took the sting out of having to get ready to go to work or school.
'6:30 Get up up up up up...' This was the wake up call of a rotund fun loving clown by the name of Leslie Sullivan who was the morning man on Radio Rhodesia. Leslie, I am told was quite a night owl and would show up about 45 minutes before Radio Rhodesia went on the air and had a "Power Sleep" waking just in time to get the morning radio show kicked off.
At about 5 minutes to 6 in the morning, Leslie would produce his " thought for the day", an inspirational message to help face the day.
Later in the morning it was time for another sorcerer to perform his Radio magic, in the form of a kindly chap by the name of Don Burdett. Don had a hospital request show with "Silver Lining" as his theme music. He showed tremendous empathy for the ailing whether it was a "new mum" at the Lady Chancellor hospital or Lady Rodwell Hospital, or
a malaria case in Salisbury Central hospital, maybe Umtali General, the Mater Dei in Bulawayo or Greenwood Park hospital or even someone recuperating at home.
Don always saved a special segment for his "Little Horrors", the sick children who were in hospital. Usually he would play Alvin and the Chipmunks. It always perked a person up listening to his kindly voice admonishing you to cheer up and get better soon.
Around noon, shortly after the "Daily Service", a wonderful woman by the name of Beryl Salt would exhort children to "Bring a cushion or a chair right up to the radio", at which time she would read a story with the most amazing professionalism, never mispronouncing a word, stuttering or losing a beat. I will never forget her for she made my childhood so much more enjoyable with her lovely voice.
Around 2,00 p.m. there was usually a short news update, following which a "Serial" came on. It was usually a radio theatre presentation of a book and so very well done. These programs brought something to look forward to and were seldom missed.
Radio really had an impact on our lives as Television did not come on until 6.00 p.m. and that was only in the larger cities, until later years as technology became better. It was the great spirit in a small box that penetrated our soul and mind and left that indelible image there. It forced your imagination to take you to places your eye could not see, truly wonderful!
Monday nights there was a great show entitled "The Missing Persons Bureau" about an agency that traced folks who had disappeared. Henry Simon, was the director of the bureau.
During the rest of the week several radio drama shows were done usually by some great entertainers like Ken Marshall and his beautiful wife Clare.
These folk along with other celebrities not only did wonderful radio dramas but often performed in plays at the well known Reps theatre in Salisbury.
There were many fine voices on the air - one was Gerry Wilmot who left Radio Rhodesia to work for Lourenco Marques radio, I think that was about 1961 or 1962.
A game show program presented by Mervin Hamilton and Vic Matheson that featured housewives pushing a shopping cart around Meikles gathering groceries without duplicating items in an allotted time, brought excitement to the listeners. It was always quite a rush to listen to.
My favourite was "Forces Requests" with Sally Donaldson 1.20 Saturday afternoon. Sally was a beautiful young woman with a voice to match. She played all the forces favorites and with the escalating terrorist bush war she became very popular as young men went off to defend their country. Dusk was usually falling as we would listen with the lights turned out in our living room, with only the lights off. Sadly Sally passed away a few years ago but her wonderful personality, charm and looks will never be forgotten.
My favourite day was Saturday for all the great hit music generally got played. Ian Warren had a show at 9.00 a.m. playing new songs that were potential hits.
Everyone's favourite was none other than Lyons Maid hits of the week. The show was done by Martin Locke and Trig Tregaskis who not only had a great radio voice but held quite an appeal to the young ladies. Much to the annoyance of his wife.
Each week there was a jackpot, and if the top ten hits of the week were predicted correctly the winner would win the amount, or if he or she got the top three correct free ice cream was in the works! How we lived for this show!
Martin left the Rhodesian airwaves for a while and Keith Kennedy took over the show. Both gentlemen were excellent at their craft and the show was tremendously successful.
Trig took over as DJ on Radio Jacaranda where he remained until he left for South Africa in 1978.
Another great at Radio Rhodesia was a guy that I thought never got enough credit for his excellence and that was Malcolm Russell. Malcolm had a show called "New Tracks" and it was the last biggie for we young folk on a Saturday morning. The show's theme
song was "I Will Follow Him" and was just super.
There were several distinguished voices like that of John Bishop and Peter Tobin that graced our airwaves.
As the years passed small stations were set up in the provinces that covered local issues for about 2 or 3 hours on Friday nights. I have a
smile on my face thinking of all the fond memories of a wonderful Radio station.
My times for the programming may be slightly off bearing in mind all of this happened so long ago and in a land far away!
Thanks to all of these dear people, some still with us, others not but everyone is fondly remembered and never forgotten.'
Phil Morris - Memories of Rhodesia


I feel it is my duty as a Bulawayo citizen to warn fellow motorists not to get out of their cars at police road blocks without taking their valuables with them. I foolishly left my handbag containing a wallet with my passport and a fair amount of cash in it on the front seat as I followed the policeman who would show me why my reflector strip was wrongly placed on the back of my truck. I suspect, but unfortunately have no proof , that my wallet was removed from my bag. I was devastated to lose the money and the passport as I was on the way to town to buy an air ticket so I could see my family in South Africa.

Cry My Beloved Country. So many of us were born here and have lived such a wonderful life, second to none, and now many people are even too frightened to drive in Byo town for fear of these road blocks.


$200 DEPOSIT FINES AND SI 41 OF 2016 ..

According to the Herald (30 June, 2016): 'Motorists and pedestrians risk being fined $200 or imprisonment for picking passengers or boarding vehicles at undesignated points.'

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba is quoted as saying 'anyone found guilty under the regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Level 5 or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.'

Reading through the article, it is worth noting Senior AssComm Charamaba does not mention a figure of $200 fines, only the Herald reporter.

Senior AssComm Charamaba will be aware that the maximum deposit fine a police officer can legally impose is $20 per offence. (A level 3 fine). A fine higher than level 3 can only be imposed by a magistrate after a court appearance. We can therefore expect that anybody found not complying with the provisions of SI 41 of 2016, if sufficiently serious as to warrant a Level 5 fine, will be given the opportunity to appear before a magistrate.

This status is unchanged since the Criminal Code Chapter 9:23, Schedule 1, Part 1, promulgated by the Finance Act, effective 1 February, 2009 (to provide for dollarisation). We understand the current Schedule of Deposit Fines (issued February, 2016) has not been gazetted. The last occasion where the fines were detailed in a statutory instrument was in 1974. The Finance Act of 2009 referred to above, converted the Zim$ to US$ amounts.


SI 41/2016 - Road Traffic (Traffic Signs and Signals) Regulations, 2016, became effective on 8 April, 2016, and replaces RGN 573 of 1973. (A copy of the covering page is available from the Files tab on

Understandably, the SI 41/2016 makes no reference to the level of fines that can be imposed for an offence. Fines are covered elsewhere, and should not be confused with the provisions of a publication covering Traffic Signs and Signals.

We trust this guides you.

The BIG SKY Team