Here below is a snippet of the easy, flowing and scathing prose that brought many a smile to my face over the years. Irascible, he was.
"Livingstone’s intentions, let alone his methods, were dubious. Who wouldn’t want to escape a boring and rain-drenched life as a general practitioner in Scotland for Africa, Asia, Mexico, anywhere? So he showed up in Africa, got the hots for the daughter of the missionary Moffat of Kuruman, married her (also under dubious circumstances — some have said that she was already “spoiled” by the pious doctor, Scots being what they are, especially under the influence of a little medicinal tipple, which he always kept with him in his doctor’s bag, and that he had to do it to avoid her father reaching for the bullwhip and driving him out of town) and then got restless and decided to “move on into the interior” to do a little bit of missionary work — the kind of thing he knew his father-in-law would approve of.
He deliberately left wife and civilisation behind him. Mary Moffat, pining for her one-night-wonder with the big moustache, piercing Scottish eyes, and big Scottish talk, took to drink in a big way. But he was gone.
Yes, my sisters and brothers, we should have seen trouble coming from a long way off and done something about it. We should have stopped this surly, unsmiling fellow dead in his tracks by whatever means necessary. But we took the African way and smiled politely every time he yelled at us for not brushing our teeth or polishing his boots. The rest is history."
- JOHN MATSHIKIZA: WITH THE LID OFF - Mail & Guardian, Apr 24 2006