I was born Maria Martore in 1934. But I have been renamed Iucci by my husband Eugenio Piergiovanni. He is thirteen years my senior, is fluent in three languages and is a charismatic businessman. We have left Italy and the only family I have ever known to go to Africa seeking adventures and fortune. I keep thinking – Is Africa really going to be that welcoming? Is my husband’s dream of selling Italian Haute Couture to expatriates ridiculous?
In December 1955, we settle in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia and open our Italian fashion shop. Our success is promoted by the fashion editor of “The Rhodesian Herald”, as we design clothes for the first entrant of the “Miss World” competition from Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
“Ciao! We’re in Africa” is based on true events. Through the writing skills of her author daughter, Maria-Iucci’s story is narrated as a memory, as if living in the moment. Coinciding historical event timelines have been carefully researched and evocative photographs included.
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