I'm not sure how famous Don Williams is in the US, but when ever I'm drunk enough to loudly sing, "Amanda, light of my life. Fate should have made you a gentleman's wife," I get blank stares from Americans. But not from black Africans. They know what's going down. It's Don Williams, the American country singer. He died today, at 78. His decline is said to have been fast.

Though I spent much of my childhood in the US, it was only when I moved to Zimbabwe that I discovered Don Williams. Everyone listened to him. He was at the top of the Dairibord's Top 20. I once asked my father why he was so popular with black Africans, and he said: "We understand what he is saying."


I don't believe that heaven waits / For only those who congregate/ I'd like to think of God as love / He's down below/ He's up above/ He's watchin' people everywhere/ He knows who does and doesn't care / And I'm an ordinary man/ Sometimes I wonder who I am/ But I believe in love