The Matobo hills, which sit high over Matabeleland, near Bulawayo, are a Place of Power. A barren plateau with boulders piled up like giant marbles in an unlikely state of equilibrium. The N’debele believe that the world started in the Matobos and consider this area the most sacred in the land. They may visit but have to leave by nightfall, when the spirits are abroad.
Cecil Rhodes, the founder of Southern Rhodesia, elected to be buried here with his two closest companions, Jameson and Coghlan. Rhodes’ (and his companions’) grave is a simple metal plate, as if he did not want to disturb the serenity and spirituality of the Matobos.
When we visit, in the late afternoon, we are alone on the hill and can feel the silent power and intensity of the Matobos. As the sun begins to set, the giant boulders are illuminated by a bright orange light, as if the lights had suddenly been turned on.