As a younger man, I made frequent trips from South Africa to Rhodesia(Zimbabwe) with my family to visit my wife’s siblings who were tobacco farmers and her parents who lived in Salisbury (Harare).
Each farm had a Farm Store which sold essentials to the farm workers. Paraffin, Cooking oil, sugar, tea, soap, mealie meal (corn meal), work clothing etc. and a sweet in the shape of a mouse – which the locals called a ‘Goondwan’. The look of rapture which lit-up the little faces of the kids when given one by the mother or father, whom they had accompanied to the Store, made such an impression on me and my sons that we have never forgotten ‘Goondwans’.
(My spelling of Goondwan is almost certainly incorrect. Extensive searches of available dictionaries produced no definitive results. I have, therefor, stayed with a phonetic spelling – my apologies to the purists…………….)
Goondwan has now adopted a connotation of ‘a real treat’, a memorable experience, an exquisite meal, a great book, top movie – anything which gives great pleasure and satisfaction.