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A whenwe is a former British settler or expatriate who talks nostalgically about their former homes in colonial Africa, i.e.: "when we lived in..." (the origin of the term).

The original whenwes came from eastern Africa, mostly Kenya. Being largely of colonial origin, they went back to the United Kingdom or moved south to Rhodesia in the early 1960s. In 1978, Louis W. Bolze and Rose Martin published their satiric cartoon book The Whenwes of Rhodesia.[1][2]

The next wave of whenwes was from 1980, around the time of Zimbabwe's independence, and thousands of white Zimbabweans moved to South Africa, especially to Natal.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Bolze, Louis W.; Rose Martin (1978). The Whenwes of Rhodesia. Books of Rhodesia. 
  2. ^ The Whenwes Of Rhodesia Flickr. Retrieved on 20 February 2013
  3. ^ "Rhodie oldies". New Internationalist. 1985. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  4. ^ Donald G. McNeil Jr (1998-11-29). "A Nibble of Caledonia in Africa". New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  5. ^ Peter Farrell-Vinay (2003). "When Wees". Hackwriters. Retrieved 2009-09-29.