Duncan Money
Search for other papers by Duncan Money in
Current site
Google Scholar
Free access


This book has taken me a long time to write and would never have been finished at all if not for the institutional support and wealth of personal kindness I received while writing it.

My greatest debt of gratitude goes to Jan-Georg Deutsch, who taught me as an undergraduate and later supervised the doctoral thesis on which this book is based, and he did so throughout with unfailing kindness and generosity and with gently probing criticism. It is a terrible sadness that he is no longer here to see the work that he did so much to shape.

Much additional research, writing, and re-writing took place at the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, where I spent three happy years. Here, I was given ready and generous funding and the intellectual freedom to pursue this project, and benefitted enormously from the convivial scholarly community assembled there by Ian Phimister. Without this support, the current book may not have existed at all, or only in a more truncated form. I really cannot thank Ian enough for his encouragement, advice, and good humour, and I profited immensely from his vast knowledge on the subject, both his extensive scholarly knowledge on mining and labour and his own personal experience of life in Mufulira as it was. Ian quickly recognised my obsession with the subject and must take some share of the blame for encouraging it.

The final stages of writing took place in Leiden and were a particularly solitary pursuit during the lockdown. Since my arrival in Leiden, Jan-Bart Gewald has been consistently supportive and enthusiastic about my work, and his invariable habit of lending me whatever book came to hand prompted lots of unexpected insights from material I would not otherwise have read. Much other useful reading material was readily accessible at the asc Library, which is a remarkable institution.

Research for this book has taken to me to archives in many parts of the world. My work in these various archives was made much easier by the expertise and friendliness of the archivists. At the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines archive, I could always look forward to a warm welcome from Ngosa Webster and David Kangwa. At the Wits Historical Papers Archive, Gabriele Mohale and Zofia Sulej were always good company and tenacious in tracking down obscure references. Ursula Mostert at Anglo American’s library serendipitously suggested that I look at their collection of the Rhokana Review, while I was there looking for something else entirely. In addition, many people kindly shared archival and secondary material with me which I was otherwise not able to access. I am grateful here to Miles Larmer, Hyden Munene, Kenyon Zimmer, Wessel Visser, Spencer Hodgson, Andrew Cohen, Liam Taylor, Nicola Ginsburgh, Evan Smith, and Alfred Tembo.

All the people I interviewed were generous with their time. Thanks are owed to Gavin Williams, who mentioned to me in passing that his uncle had worked on the Copperbelt and subsequently put me in touch with his family members, who in turn helped me contact many other interviewees. I am grateful to all my interviewees for taking the time to share their experiences with me. I am particularly grateful to Cheryl Mathers, who posted me copies of the surviving papers of her father Frank Maybank from Australia, and to Peter Hills, who shared scanned copies of the Rhokana Review.

I have long felt difficulty dealing with the archival material that I gathered and was often conscious that my clumsy attempts to shape this rich material into something readable did the subject a disservice. In this sense, the many presentations I have given on the topic of this book – again, only possible through the institutional support I received – helped me a lot in thinking about how to write it. Particular gratitude is owed to Marja Hinfelaar – who invited me to give my very first presentation on the topic that became this book – and to Miles Larmer, who has invited me to give several more talks since then, as well as providing helpful advice about shaping my book.

The genesis of many of the ideas in this book was in the weekly afternoon seminar convened by Georg at St Cross College in Oxford. Regular attendees were both helpful and very tolerant of hearing me present the same topic repeatedly, so thank you to Rouven Kunstmann, Katharina Oke, Simon Stubbings, Jodie Sun, Dan Hodgkinson, Mohamed Haji Ingiriis, Michelle Sikes, Khumisho Moguerane, and Sacha Hepburn.

At the International Studies Group, I profited and learnt much from conversations, reading suggestions, extended monologues on the importance of Zimbabwean history, good-natured criticism, and comradeship from Abraham Mlombo, Ana Rita Amaral, Admire Mseba, George Bishi, Lazlo Passemiers, Tinashe Nyamunda, Dave Patrick, Kate Law, Victor Gwande, Rory Pilossof, Rebecca Swartz, Clement Masakure, and especially Ana Stevenson. Ilse le Roux and Tari Gwena kept the whole thing running, and even in the three years I was there, they both did enough work to deserve some kind of lifetime achievement award from the university.

Many people shared insights and knowledge to help with the final manuscript, particularly Danelle van Zyl-Hermann, who read multiple drafts and listened to me talk about the Copperbelt’s white mineworkers so often that she could probably have written this book herself. I would also especially like to thank Lazlo Passemiers, Gertrude Nakibuule, Ana Stevenson, Victor Gwande, Kate Law and Neil Roos, who all read parts of the final manuscript, and sincerely thank Iva Peša, who read the whole thing.

I am grateful to Brill for the smooth and supportive process of bringing this book to publication, particularly to Stefano Bellucci, my editor Alessandra Giliberto, and to the two anonymous reviewers and series editors who provided useful suggestions and feedback.

Sections of earlier versions of Chapter 3 and Chapter 5 were published as articles in the International Review of Social History (60, 2, 2015) and The Extractive Industries and Society (4, 4, 2017). One section in Chapter 6 draws on research published in my chapter in the edited collection Rethinking White Societies in Southern Africa, 1930s-1990s (Routledge, 2020).

Finally, I offer my gratitude to the love of my life Gertrude Nakibuule for her love, kindness, and support, and for even once accompanying me on a trip to the Copperbelt. Nkwagala nnyo, mukyala wange, you have brought me the greatest joy and happiness in this life.

This book is dedicated to Jan-Georg Deutsch, who persuaded me that I could.

Duncan Money

Leiden, May 2021

  • Collapse
  • Expand