Farmer Ian Kay was beaten by two dozen Africans at the same time, with sticks and barbed wire, then dragged from the house and thrown into the bushes.

So supporters of the Cannibal President Robert Mugabe took away the property from the white inhabitants of Zimbabwe under the slogan of struggle against the colonial past.

Kay thought that he would never get out of the bushes, but he managed to crawl away and hide in the depths of the farm.


Later, the Africans executed his son even more cruelly, pulling pieces of skin from his body. This was preceded by months of intimidation. In 2002, after a year and a half of intimidation, the family was forced to leave the farm and the country.

The crowd broke in and crushed their house, smearing feces on the walls. Ian’s wife, Kerry, said that they would never return to agriculture, and especially to this country. “You can change the driver, but if all the passengers are the same, what’s the difference?” she said.

Kerry Kay

The result of Mugabe’s “land reform”, correcting the unequal distribution of land as a result of colonialism, made it possible to seize the land from the white people and give it to the black Zimbabweans.

The result of this “transformation” was the fall in agricultural production and exports of Zimbabwe.

Today, a new government headed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to revive commercial farming and to do this with the help of white farmers.


Brian Pattison was 17 years old when his family farm was captured, and the family emigrated to Australia to start a new life.

However, the matured Pattison drew back to Africa, and in 2008 he single-handedly decided to return there. “My parents were unhappy with this decision,” he says. “They could not believe that I was returning to Zimbabwe after everything that happened to us.”

On the black continent, Pattison was unable to return his family farm, it had long gone to other hands, but he built a new mixed agricultural production near Harare.


John and Maria Osborne, too, are thinking of returning to Zimbabwe from Australia. Due to the fact that their farm was one of the two farms that grew indigenous livestock, they managed to preserve their property.

First this idea was submitted by their adult daughter, who decided to return to the farm with her Australian husband.

“When the government in Zimbabwe changed, my daughter and son-in-law suddenly decided that they had a new opportunity,” says John Osborne.