Lost Inheritance

Baruch

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR POLITICAL FAMILY

    Core Theme

    PERSEVERANCE

    TIME PERIOD

    Earlier 20th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE BATTLE FOR ZIMBABWE, THE GRACELESS FALL OF MUGABE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • OBERT HOLL: 30S-80+. LEAD. SEARCHING FOR REDEMPTION FOR HIS FAMILY.

    • HARRY PATRICK HOLL: 50S. OBERT'S GRANDFATHER.

    • UMSOLI: 40S. OBERT'S GRANDMOTHER.

    • BEN: 50S. OBERT'S FATHER.

    • UMADHLODHLO: 40S. OBERT'S STEPMOTHER.

    • VERONICA: 30S-80S. OBERT'S WIFE.

    Logline

    The story covered by the book highlights the suffering of the so called "Coloured" people in Rhodesia during the colonial period up to and including the granting of Independence to the Blacks in 1980 and beyond.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Southern Africa

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Xlibris

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    The story begins with Mzilikazi, a Southern African king, who founded the Khumalo kingdom of Matabeleland. It covers the Ndebele nations' ascendancy as they fought their way from Zululand, subduing other nations culminating with a clash with the Boer nation (Voortrekkers) at the battle of Vegkop.

    Ending Description

    The story ends with the coup that removed Robert Mugabe from power in 2017 and the intallation of a new regime in the country of Zimbabwe.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    978-1-5434-0798-3

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Other

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Harry Patrick Holl

    Age: 60

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    I see the book as a film and, also, as a TV series because the main events of the story are devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence. The book has 21 chapters (including Prologue and Epilogue) and each chapter, which is a story in itself) can be treated as an episode in the film or TV series. For example, the Prologue presents a very powerful story of Mzilikazi’s defection from Tshaka to set up his own kingdom in Matabeleland. During his journey, Mzilikazi had many military encounters, including his engagement with the Voortrekkers at the battle of Vegkop in Northern Free State. In Chapter 1 we see a great story about the William Holl the Elder and his family who were engravers. In Chapters 2 & 3 the book talks about the colonization of Rhodesia and how the colonizers grabbed the land for themselves. Featured in this section is the Matabele Rebellion which began in November 1893 which resulted in the defeat of the amaNdebele impis and the occupation of the amaNdebele capital of Bulawayo. In chapter 5 the book touches on the specific family – my father and his 3 sisters and focuses on how they suffered and lost their inheritance. Chapters 8, 9 & 10 focus on my life and how I was subjected to colossal racial discrimination growing up. The remaining chapters deal with my struggles to survive under both colonialism and the Mugabe Regime. I believe that the book has a compelling story which is historical and factual and deserves being made into a film.

    Genre

    DRAMA, POLITICS, WAR

    Brief

    A young boy grows up against a backdrop of colonialism, ethnic strife and war in Southern Africa.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the profile does depict the book.

    Draw of Story

    The history of colonialism in Africa was very interesting.

    Possible Drawbacks

    There were a lot of miscellaneous details about birth records. Removing some of it would make the story move faster.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    It's a sweeping tale of one family's struggle to improve their lives during the colonial occupation of Rhodesia and all the way through the revolution that created Zimbabwe.

    Fanbase Potential

    Perhaps internationally. This story could attract a variety of fans but there isn't a "built-in" base, at least not in the USA.

    Awards Potential

    Broad historical and family dramas like this do tend to attract awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    ROOTS, BLOOD DIAMONDS, A UNITED KINGDOM

    What’s New About the Story

    It's one man's real life journey - that makes it original by default. That can't be changed.

    Lead Characters

    Their perseverance and determination makes them stand out.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is good - it could use a little more detail of the historical drama taking place outside of this man's life story.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This has the backbone of a good feature film or mini-series (a la Roots). It's a little rough on the writing style and some of the secondary characters need to be more developed but those can be fixed with a good screenplay.

    Brief

    This biography of an interracial family in Zimbabwe highlights the suffering of the so called "Coloured" people in Rhodesia during the colonial period up to and including the granting of Independence to the Blacks in 1980 and beyond.

    What We Liked

    This is a unique true story focusing on an area of the world and history that is underrepresented in popular media.

    Film: As a film, this could be an impactful period piece showing a tale of triumph over struggle and resolution in the face of injustices.

    TV: As a television show, this could be an interesting historical docuseries about the class stratification among races in Rhodesia throughout the early 20th century.

    Key points: Based on a true story; Unique setting; Period piece; Action scenes; History heavy

    Synopsis

    Harry Patrick Holl, Pat, a white man born in England, moved to Cape Town, South Africa in the 1880s in order to learn farming. He met and became engaged to a young Boer woman, but was forced to break off the engagement as the Anglo-Boer war increased in intensity. He went to Rhodesia and met a native woman of the amaNdebele tribe, uMsoli. Although the Colony's administration would not, at the time, formally recognize a union between a black woman and a white man, uMsoli and Pat were married in a ceremony traditional to the amaNdebele's tribe's customs. Together, they had four children, but Pat neglected to register the children as his. They lived together on Pat's farm with their children until Pat met a young woman named Genevieve and married her.

    Pat brought Genevieve back to his farm and kicked uMsoli and their children out of the house. Pat sent uMsoli and their children to uMsoli's brother with an inheritance of cattle and goods, but they were forced to live a life of hardship as uMsoli's brother took everything and refused to give any of the inheritance to the children. After a few years, the two eldest went to visit Pat on his farm and tell him of their difficulties. Pat was surprised to see two of his daughters struggling, and promised to set up a Guardian's Fund to ensure that all of his children could receive educations, however, the documents that would have allowed the fund to take effect were destroyed in a fire.

    One of Pat's sons with uMsoli, Ben, was resentful towards his father's neglect. When Pat died, Ben assumed that he would inherit the cattle and goods that he was promised by his father, but his uncle prevented him from receiving the inheritance. He left home and married a native woman named uMathoso. As a coloured man, neither able to receive the benefits of being white or African, Ben was unable for a long time to find work until he was finally employed by an asbestos mine in Shabani. He had children with uMathoso, but she soon died while her son Obert was only four years old. Ben married another native woman by the name of uMadhlodhlo. uMadhlodhlo did not care for Ben's children from his previous marriage, and would often leave them with no food or supervision for days at a time. Ava and Obert were taken from Ben and uMadhlodlo in Shabani to live with their aunt, uNkungulu, and her husband, uBishop, because Ben had failed to come up with the required lobola (bride price) when he married uMathoso. They were to remain with their aunt until the bride price was paid off. The children were forced to do backbreaking labor on the farm.

    Despite these hardships, Obert was determined to make a better life for himself and get an education. His sister, Ava, helped him escape his aunt uNkungulu’s home and go back to Shabani, where he was able to go to school under a welfare grant. Obert got drafted in the war and met Veronica, who he soon married. Zimbabwe won independence, and Obert, who had been working in the Civil Service, was forced to leave. Obert's father, Ben, dies, leaving behind several orphans, as he had continued siring children well into his 70s. Veronica gets sick and Obert decides to take her to the UK for better medical treatment, however, it is difficult to leave Zimbabwe, until Obert's daughter realizes their family's true genealogy. Obert is able to prove his relation to Harry Patrick Holl, and reunites with his white relatives. Obert's private accounting firm takes off, but he is soon injured in a squash game, and for the rest of his life suffers from a lack of smell and a lack of hearing in one ear. The Zimbabwe dollar crashes and Obert loses his home and pension, just as he learns he has Hepatitis C. He and his wife move to Australia and he is successfully treated and cured of the disease.

    About The Author

    Obert Holl was born in Shabani (now Zvishavane), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His father was the half-white son of a Pioneer and his mother an Ndebele woman from the Swazi tribe. Despite the difficulties he faced, Holl was able to become Senior Administrative Officer during the colonial regime and up to Corporate Secretary in the Mugabe Regime. He became the first non-white to own and run a successful accounting firm in Harare during the Mugabe Regime.