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"Who Will Teach the Wisdom"
Living with the Tribes

 

“Who Will Teach the Wisdom” is a compelling account of author Tim Bax’s recent involvement preparing a small Special Operations team for a mission to Africa to eradicate a group of insurgents. Tim’s narrative begins in a remote jungle training camp deep within a remote rain forest in Puerto Rico, but has as its source the wisdom of Africa. There are no easy missions but this Special Forces mission was successful because it was a mission carried out in Africa using the wisdom of Africa as its Genesis. More important, unlike most previous counter-insurgency operations, no more insurgents succeeded in gaining a foothold in the tribal area in which the mission was carried out. This was because the same wisdom that was used in finding the insurgents was used in eradicating them.

This is also a book about Tim’s journey back to Africa in search of the wisdom needed to ensure the success of the Special Operations mission. It is a search in which he unlocks for readers the fascinating mystery of what enabled the famed Selous Scouts to ‘terrorize the terrorists’ to such an extent that they were too afraid even to mention the unit’s name. They referred to its soldiers simply as skuz’apo, or ‘those who have stolen our identity’. Of greater interest, Tim reveals the crucial role played by the tribes in the units astonishing success. Readers can accompany Tim during the countless days and nights he spent huddled around cooking fires in the company of tribal elders in the uncompromising remoteness of the African bush trying to unlock the puzzle of how to gain the tribal support needed to win the Rhodesian bush war . It is a story of a people who are too wise to be silent yet have been to soundless to be heard.

But to say that this is a story just about people would be to dishonour those about whom this book is written. For they are not just people in the sense of the crudity of the species we know to be people. It is a story about a humble, gentle and timeless people whose wisdom is derived not from an affinity to the shallowness of the present but from a respect for the depth of the past. It is a past too worthy to be forgotten and too valuable to be ignored.

This is a story of conflict, but only in as much as the country about which Tim writes is desolate and untamed, with a history of war and a heritage of bravery which is as unique as it is unparalleled; for it is bravery conceived and lived beneath the harsh and unrelenting brutality of the African sun.

 

About the Author

Timothy Bax was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika, in 1949. He attended boarding school in Lushoto from the age of six and in 1963 moved to England to continue his schooling. A year later he moved with his mother and two sisters to Toronto, Canada, where he completed his education. At the age of nineteen, Tim returned alone to Africa, living first in South Africa then in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He was commissioned into the Rhodesian Army as a lieutenant in 1972, serving first with the Rhodesian Light Infantry then with the elite Selous Scouts Regiment. It was while serving with that unconventional unit that Tim spent many years living and working amongst the tribes in remote areas of Rhodesia and Mozambique. He was married to his wife, Carol in 1977. Their daughter, Jennifer, was born in June, 1982. Tim is currently resident in the United States where he lectures on African customs and assists conducting survival training courses from a remote jungle facility in the Caribbean.

 

 
 

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