Rhodesian Tycoon & The Rudd Concession (yellow) 2021 Hand-woven archival ink-jet prints 54,5 x 54,5 cm
The Rudd Concession was the document that Cecil John Rhodes used to gain exclusive mining rights from King Lobengula of Matabeleland. It soon spelled disaster for the King and ultimately led to Rhodes’ occupation of the country that would be named after him as Rhodesia. In 1967 Rhodesians produced an imitation Monopoly board game called Tycoon with names reflecting areas in the capital Salisbury. Salisbury is now Harare and Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe. My version of this Tycoon board plays with an anagram of the word MONOPOLY by stating MO POLONY instead. This along with the words MO COLONY alludes to the joke ‘Zimbabwe will never eat polony again’ that came from a popular phrase by former president Robert Mugabe ‘Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.’
The text I added to my version of the Tycoon board game (with the original place names from the game Tycoon) starts with a quote from Rhodes. What follow is the text from the Rudd Concession:
“Someone has to get the country, and I think we should have the best chance,” Rhodes told Rothschild; “I have always been afraid of the difficulty of dealing with the Matabele king. He is the only block to central Africa, as, once we have his territory, the rest is easy… the rest is simply a village system with separate headmen… I have faith in the country, and Africa is on the move. I think it is a second Cinderella.”
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, THAT WHEREAS CHARLES DUNELL RUDD, OF KIMBERLEY; ROCHFORT MAGUIRE, OF LONDON; AND FRANCIS ROBERT THOMPSON, OF KIMBERLEY, HEREINAFTER CALLED THE GRANTEES, HAVE COVENANTED AND AGREED, AND DO HEREBY COVENANT AND AGREE, TO PAY TO ME, MY HEIRS AND SUCCESSORS, THE SUM OF ONE HUNDRED POUNDS STERLING, BRITISH CURRENCY, ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY LUNAR MONTH; AND FURTHER, TO DELIVER AT MY ROYAL KRAAL ONE THOUSAND MARTINI-HENRY BREECH-LOADING RIFLES, TOGETHER WITH ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ROUNDS OF SUITABLE BALL CARTRIDGE, FIVE HUNDRED OF THE SAID RIFLES AND FIFTY THOUSAND OF THE SAID CARTRIDGES TO BE ORDERED FROM ENGLAND FORTHWITH AND DELIVERED WITH REASONABLE DESPATCH, AND THE REMAINDER OF THE SAID RIFLES AND CARTRIDGES TO BE DELIVERED AS SOON AS THE SAID GRANTEES SHALL HAVE COMMENCED TO WORK MINING MACHINERY WITHIN MY TERRITORY; AND FURTHER, TO DELIVER ON THE ZAMBESI RIVER A STEAMBOAT WITH GUNS SUITABLE FOR DEFENSIVE PURPOSES UPON THE SAID RIVER, OR IN LIEU OF THE SAID STEAMBOAT, SHOULD I SO ELECT, TO PAY TO ME THE SUM OF FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS STERLING, BRITISH CURRENCY.
ON THE EXECUTION OF THESE PRESENTS, I, LOBENGULA, KING OF MATABELELAND, MASHONALAND, AND OTHER ADJOINING TERRITORIES, IN EXERCISE OF MY SOVEREIGN POWERS, AND IN THE PRESENCE AND WITH THE CONSENT OF MY COUNCIL OF INDUNAS, DO HEREBY GRANT AND ASSIGN UNTO THE SAID GRANTEES, THEIR HEIRS, REPRESENTATIVES, AND ASSIGNS, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, THE COMPLETE AND EXCLUSIVE CHARGE OVER ALL METALS AND MINERALS SITUATED AND CONTAINED IN MY KINGDOMS, PRINCIPALITIES, AND DOMINIONS, TOGETHER WITH FULL POWER TO DO ALL THINGS THAT THEY MAY DEEM NECESSARY TO WIN AND PROCURE THE SAME, AND TO HOLD, COLLECT, AND ENJOY THE PROFITS AND REVENUES, IF ANY, DERIVABLE FROM THE SAID METALS AND MINERALS, SUBJECT TO THE AFORESAID PAYMENT; AND WHEREAS I HAVE BEEN MUCH MOLESTED OF LATE BY DIVERS PERSONS SEEKING AND DESIRING TO OBTAIN GRANTS AND CONCESSIONS OF LAND AND MINING RIGHTS IN MY TERRITORIES, I DO HEREBY AUTHORISE THE SAID GRANTEES, THEIR HEIRS, REPRESENTATIVES AND ASSIGNS, TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY AND LAWFUL STEPS TO EXCLUDE FROM MY KINGDOM, PRINCIPALITIES, AND DOMINIONS ALL PERSONS SEEKING LAND, METALS, MINERALS, OR MINING RIGHTS THEREIN, AND I DO HEREBY UNDERTAKE TO RENDER THEM ALL SUCH NEEDFUL ASSISTANCE AS THEY MAY FROM TIME TO TIME REQUIRE FOR THE EXCLUSION OF SUCH PERSONS, AND TO GRANT NO CONCESSIONS OF LAND OR MINING RIGHTS FROM AND AFTER THIS DATE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT AND CONCURRENCE; PROVIDED THAT, IF AT ANY TIME THE SAID MONTHY PAYMENT OF ONE HUNDRED POUNDS SHALL BE IN ARREAR FOR A PERIOD OF THREE MONTHS, THEN THIS GRANT SHALL CEASE AND DETERMINE FROM THE DATE OF THE LAST-MADE PAYMENT; AND FURTHER PROVIDED THAT NOTHING CONTAINED IN THESE PRESENTS SHALL EXTEND TO OR AFFECT A GRANT MADE BY ME OF CERTAIN MINING RIGHTS IN A PORTION OF MY TERRITORY SOUTH OF THE RAMAQUABAN RIVER, WHICH GRANT IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE TATI CONCESSION.