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Bwana: There's a body in the bath!

HB. 342 pp. 229x150. Illus. Mono.
ISBN: 978-1-922825-20-9
Publisher: Ingwe Publishing, Australia. 2022


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More about the book

This book is a fascinating read for anyone interested in Africa and WWII.

Peter Whitehead was born in 1923 in Shanghai, his father involved in the newly developing cotton industry of China. Nearing the end of his primary school years he was shipped back to England, with his mother and younger sister Wendy. At age 14 he left home, making his way to Australia where he became a stockman. He worked with horses here and it was tough, breaking them in under the conditions, but Peter took on everything thrown at him with confidence, determination and courage. In World War 2 he served in the Australian army as a horse breaker and the gunner on a B-24 Liberator long range bomber. After the war he travelled to central Africa, spending many years in the isolating wilderness as a colonial officer, parks ranger, professional hunter and rancher from South Africa up to Kenya.. He also worked on the sets of movies, including Hatari! with John Wayne, and handling the lions for Born Free.

Peter has survived two aircraft crashes as well as encounters with man-eating lions, zombie witches, killer hippos, an ambush from wild buffalo, and nearly drowned in a crocodile-infested river. All adding to the fascination of this harsh world he lived in.

At 93 he left his African life to settle in New Zealand to be closer to his daughter. He now lives by himself in a converted three-bay hayshed with living quarters at one end and a comprehensive workshop at the other. Not bad for a centenarian.

This is his autobiography, written with the help of Australian author Tony Park. Peter had read one of Mr Park’s books which was set in Africa — part of the world he knew very well — and wrote to the author to tell him how much he enjoyed it. The result: Peter's life story as 'Bwana'.

This book is special for two reasons. Peter has recorded his life history which encompasses Australia from before WWII and Africa from the 1950s. Its a story which is important for future generations to know. Also, through his eyes the reader can feel and understand a gone world from the early to middle periods of last century.

"To be honest with you, I thought [my story] would be totally boring and that’s why I never really made any effort to do anything about it until Tony came along," Peter said. It took about a year to pull it all together, and now its here. It was only after much nagging by friends and family he came to share his incredible adventures in 'Bwana: There’s a Body in the Bath!' As he said: "It might interest a few people — especially the older generation." He was absolutely right.