Aficionados of life and adventures in 19th Century Africa have long enjoyed a singularly one-sided view – a view from the West. The romance and excitement of European accounts of East Africa have exploited the mystique of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika. But in so doing, they have given that region an exclusively Western perspective, obsurring an equally thrilling parallel world that existed on the same time-plane, albeit through an entirely different lens.
Outsiders are usually surprised to learn that there was simultaneously another race of people who enjoyed an untold saga of amazing adventures. They are unaware of the astounding voyages of adolescent orphans travelling unaccompanied to Africa across a treacherous ocean, and a thousand dangerous miles overland, working hard and going on to amass fortunes. The story of American adventurer Leo "The Lion" Roethe's first encounter with a marksman of this race, whom he called "the greatest big game hunter in the world", and with whom he went on 16 safaris. The gift of life that the Mau Mau jungle fighters gave to non-combatants when they got in the way and the dark tale of a boxer who was one of history's most dreaded mass killers.
Real African Phantom is a first person account of the most fascinating years of that century, as told by a one-time next door neighbour of the brutal field marshall Idi Amin – "The Last King of Scotland", as he preferred to be known. It features the amazing success stories of the phantom group among the three major races of East Africa and the evolution of one family over the same 100 year period, through the eyes of an insider who saw most of it up close.