A unique and historic collection of copies of a magazine from one of the most volatile periods in Central African history was been released for sale on the auction website eBay.

The collection is the only known complete set of the Rhodesian magazine, Illustrated Life Rhodesia.

The auction provided an opportunity for collectors of Rhodesiana and memorabilia of Commonwealth and British colonial history to acquire the Founder Publisher’s personal set of 16 bound volumes of the magazine, from the first edition on 4 April 1968 to the last on 18 January 1979.

Published fortnightly by Graham Publishing, and Rhodesia’s only national magazine, Illustrated Life Rhodesia provides through these volumes a valuable contemporaneous historical record in text and pictures of a rebel British colony in the throes of change and of the events and politicians that helped shape its future after its Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 and its later transition to Zimbabwe in 1980.

Features on house and home and tourism and on local sports and show business personalities capture the lighter pursuits and interests of Rhodesians in the eleven years the magazine was published. Criss-crossing its pages are the names of luminaries of the time such as Ian Smith, Harold Wilson, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe, Gary Player, Mike Proctor, Eric Edwoods, Sally Donaldson and countless others who influenced Rhodesian society of the era.

Full bound in simulated leather and embossed on the spine, and on the front cover with the name of the founder publisher, the bound volumes include all Illustrated Life Rhodesia’s 291 editions and 63 supplements. These covered topics as varied as the country’s changing skyline through to the annual literary and sportsman of the year awards. Some of the supplements have become collectables such as the 104-page THE TRAILMAKERS, The Story of Rhodesia Railways, and the 148-page A PRIDE OF MEN, The Story of Rhodesia’s Army.

Now retired and still living in the Zimbabwe capital, Harare (previously Salisbury), Gordon Graham, the magazine’s founder publisher, said he lodged the set of 16 bound volumes with Kirstie Asher in Perth, Australia, and retained her to offer them on eBay. Bidding was expected to peak at between $17,000 and $25,000.

The Last Days of a Rebel British Colony

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