This film is held by the BFI (ID: 329592).


Modern missionary work in South Rhodesia, the territory explored and opened up by Livingstone.

Reel One of three.

Victoria Falls. The four-day steam-train journey along the Orange River from the Cape to the Falls, via Mafeking and Bulawayo. Shots of young girl on board train. Shots of the Falls. Unloading of supplies for the mission at nearby Choma. The journey continues by lorry, 100 miles to compound of the Reverend and Mrs L J Mathews in Kanchindu on the banks of the Zambesi. Mrs Mathews going about her daily chores; feeding hens, cats and dogs, and making cheese from their own herd's milk. Mrs Mathews having her hair cut by a native barber. As there is no running water, it must be brought in by cart from the river. An eagle is caught in the hen house and then released. Mathews shooting a snake from a tree. In the village a mother washes a baby in water from a calabash in a tree. Women (one with a bone in her nose) hoeing in a garden. Men building 'elephant hide' to protect maize crops. Boys doing one-legged ring dance then taking livestock - goats, cattle and donkeys - out to graze with boys riding the cattle. Women preparing evening meal by pounding maize whilst girls fetch water from the river, carrying it on their heads.

Reel two of three.

Shot of killed hippo, followed by village victory dances, a rain doctor's dance and a witch doctor's dance of death. Schoolboys come to Kanchindu to study agriculture. Ploughing and harvesting maize and melons after seasonal rains. "Agriculture is good news for the hungry - Healing is good news for the sick". A boy who has been savaged by a crocodile is treated by Mathews, who is also shown extracting teeth. Patients arriving from the bush to be treated for yaws. A mothers' clininc to fight 70% infant mortality. Malarial swamps are drained and sports iscourage young people from drinking. Wayfarers and Pathfinders activities. "From the ranks of these boys and girls come - nurses, evangelists and ministers of the African church". A group of hopefuls.

Reel Three of three.

A river trek to visit school churches where native evangelists preach. Mathews sitting down to tea in camp. Trekking through the forest and over mountains with porters on the same tracks used by Livingstone. Arrival at the village. A railway bell is rung for the start of school. Preacher has the children act "The Story of the Lost Sheep": a 'shepherd' in leopard skin rescues sheep and the children do a victory dance. Children learn to write in the sand. "Hygeine lesson, both practical and popular as temperature 112F in the shade". Children bathe and swim, play games and dance (frog and ring dances). Evangelists leave for villages on foot and bicycle. The Mathews' are carried over rivers by porters and in boats. Sunday worship. Open-air preaching. "Work is costly - first missionary poisoned". Shots of graves of murdered women dated 1935 and 1930. Scenes of drummers driving evil spirit out of a girl. "Dance of Death towards Dawn of New Age". Young European girl sihouetted with cross and young African boy.




Technical Data

Running Time:
42 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
16mm Film
1540 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain
ROLLS, Herbert
ROLLS, Herbert
SPURR, Norman
Production Company
Methodist Missionary Society
Production Company
Religious Films