Toc Walsh was conscripted into intake 138 Depot Rhodesia Regiment on 18 April 1974 and endured a year of what he deemed to be ‘military mayhem’. In July 1976, he was drafted again with the 10th Battalion Rhodesia Regiment to continue his wild ride into the maniacal world of combat. The country was in a state of national emergency and all available men were called up on continuous service. Mampara is a no-holds-barred look at one man’s lived experience of war.
The title of the book stems from the Shona word mampara that is said to originate from the slurred bark of the male Chacma baboon. The baboon indulges in alcohol-laden fermented fruit in an attempt to attain courage for difficult endeavours such as courting a female. In many ways, us as humans indulge in the same practise especially in times of intense stress or hardships. Young men experiencing the intense stresses of combat become, like the baboon, hungry for a way to cope.