African nationalist leaders used to joke about a spell in a British colonial prison as being an essential rite of passage in the struggle for independence and leadership of the new state. This is the memoir of a district officer in Northern Rhodesia, from his arrival in the territory in 1944 through the period leading to Zambian independence. It includes a spell as Kenneth Kaunda's "gaoler", during which a personal friendship grew up and flourished, and ends with an appointment to the President's Office in post-independence Zambia. This is the story of British colonial administration and the daily round of a District Officer's life during the nationalist struggle and the formative period of an independent African state and of a close and enduring friendship.
E. Cyril Greenall joined the Colonial and Overseas Service in 1943 and served as a District Officer in Northern Rhodesia and later in Zambia's post-independence government. David G. Coe attended Imperial College University of London, worked as a research chemist, consultant and technical writer.