Zimu was a member of the Force Publique, the Congolese army serving under Belgian colonial rule and a member of the trans-African expedition to retrieve the Belgian arms at Port-Gentil. He served under the command of Henri Defense (Indiana Jones) and Sergeant Barthélèmy with the rank of private.
It is likely that Private Zimu participated in the battle against German forces in German East Africa, in which Defense earned a promotion to captain.
Zimu was part of the expedition sent from Colonel Mathieu's camp across to Cape Lopez to pick up a shipment of machine guns. As part of the expedition, he watched his fellow soldiers die from tropical diseases and accidents, and how Barthélèmy secretly cared for a young boy found in the Ubangi village. When Barthélèmy forced a confrontation with the commanding officer, Major Boucher, Zimu defiantly broke formation, and expressed his desire that the boy accompany the expedition. Many other men in the unit followed suit, forcing Boucher to draw his pistol and threaten to kill all of them for mutiny. Defense drew his sidearm and force Boucher to stand down.
Later, the expedition reached Franceville, where they hired the Collette for traveling down the Ogooué River, and Zimu helped fight against the rebel separatists that opened fire on the boat. During the battle, Barthélèmy was shot, but the orphan boy steered the boat to safety. When the expedition reached Port-Gentil, Zimu accompanied Defense and Remy Baudouin to the hospital where the Army Doctor inspected the orphan, and they learned that Barthélèmy had died. When the Black Nun offered to take charge of the boy, Zimu was one of the soldiers who gave the child a quick embrace before they left.
With Sergeant Barthélèmy dead, Zimu was given a promotion and served as the top ranking Congolese soldier of the expedition. After Defense and Baudouin met with Colonel Pernod, Zimu, who had waited outside the garrison, received orders from Defense and dashed off.
As Defense was rigging the dynamite aboard the Collette as a contingency plan to prevent the arms from falling into enemy hands, Zachariah Sloat voiced his objections to wiring his boat with explosives. Defense nodded to Zimu, who stood fiercely with his rifle to ensure that Defense was not bothered anymore.
On the return trip upriver, Zimu and the rest of the expedition fell ill with a tropical disease, and watched several of his comrades die, including Private Juba. The Collette was commandeered by Joseph who took the men aboard to the hospital at Lambaréné, where they were cared for by Albert Schweitzer. By the time Defense had recovered from his fever and realized that Schweitzer, though German, was no threat, Zimu had also recovered and sat outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunlight, and eating breakfast. Defense checked on him before moving on to talk to Schweitzer. Later, as Defense continued to tour the hospital, Zimu gave his captain some bananas to eat.
The following day, Zimu and another soldier were relaxing when three men from the Pahouin village arrived to summon the doctor. The two soldiers crossed over to watch the visitors talk to Schweitzer and their captain. Zimu stayed in Lambaréné while Defense took Schweitzer upriver on the house call. The following evening, the French patrol boat arrived, with Captain Rostand to arrest Dr. and Mrs. Schweitzer, and Zimu watched as French troops harassed Mrs. Schweitzer and packed up their belongings. When Defense and Dr. Schweitzer arrived, Zimu watched the confrontation between Rostand and Defense, but, without his rifle, he was unable to intervene when French troops restrained Defense and Baudouin. He accompanied his superiors and Sloat to the dock to watch the Schweitzers be taken away.
It is likely that Zimu and the other two surviving Conglese soldiers accompanied Defense and Baudouin back to Port-Gentil, where the two officers tried to reason with Colonel Pernod regarding the Schweitzers.
Behind the scenes
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Notes and references
- Since the role is credited as "Zimu" while many of the other roles are listed with a rank, it is likely that Zimu held multiple ranks within the film. He was mentioned as a private when he helped to challenge Boucher, and likely was promoted to sergeant after Barthélèmy's death.