Africa Reading Challenge

January 19, 2009

Africa Reading Challenge 6. Bikila: Ethiopia’s Barefoot Olympian

Last year, while trying to pick the sixth book for my African Reading Challenge, I explained how I wanted a book that wasn’t self-consciously a book about Africa. I wanted a story, a biography, a self-help guide, whatever, that just happened to be set in Africa. I failed. And as a result didn’t even manage […]

November 25, 2008

Africa Reading Challenge. 5. Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

If there was ever a heyday for journalism then it must have been in the latter part of the nineteenth century. As pre-festive season memos circulate newsrooms warning that Christmas party expenses must be kept to a minimum, reading about Henry Morton Stanley’s instructions to travel the world for a year writing travel features before […]

July 30, 2008

Hermaphrodites or Mercenaries

Have picked the final book for my Africa Reading Challenge. In the end it was a toss-up between Sydney Brenner’s My Life in Science and Horn Of Africa by Philip Caputo. At one stage in my life I knew more about the vulva of the nematode worm than is healthy. Specificially, I knew more about […]

June 19, 2008

Africa Reading Challenge. 4. The Wizard of The Nile

Joseph Kony is an enigma wrapped up in a riddle disguised by two decades of misunderstanding as his ragtag band of rebels tries to bring down the Ugandan government. That he came close at times and has managed to evade capture or defeat has long baffled observers who believe Kony’s few public statements suggest he […]

June 5, 2008

Africa Reading Challenge – 3. A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul

When Salim leaves his home on Africa’s ocean coast to take over a small trading shop deep in the continent’s interior he embarks on an adventure that marks his coming of age – in stark contrast to the progress of his adopted country, which is stuck in an endless cycle of upheaval. The town at […]