Browsing All Posts filed under »Africa«

Something to get one’s teeth into

September 24, 2014


Even if the old woman has no teeth, her tiger nuts remain in her own bag. Ghanaian Proverb I have absolutely no idea what this proverb means but it makes me chuckle so I‘ve decided to use it. You will notice that I’ve skipped Georgia on the way to Ghana. This is because finding a […]

Losing it!

August 25, 2014


If a donkey kicks you and you kick back, you are both donkeys. Gambian proverb I’ve chosen this proverb not because it illuminates anything about Dayo Forster’s Reading the Ceiling, but because it seems particularly apt in the current political climate. And there I will leave that thought except to say that I would alter […]

G – are we here already?

August 17, 2014


Wood may remain ten years in the water but it will never become a crocodile. Gabon proverb Gabon is purportedly one of West Africa’s most stable countries, which may be why Daniel Mengara’s ‘Mema’ escapes the conspicuous violence of many other post-colonial novels. Instead of the usual narrative dose of brutality, concomitant with independence wars […]

Love, a good story

April 16, 2014


Better to face lions than women – Eritrean proverb I cheated a bit with Eritrea. The book I chose is by an Eritrean, Sulaiman Addonia, but Addonia has spent most of his life outside Eritrea – his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan following the Om Hajer massacre (villagers were machine gunned in […]

beyond a shadow

April 2, 2014


If you dream of moving mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting small stones today: Equatorial Guinea Proverb Have you ever picked up a cup of tea and taken a few sips only to realize that it’s coffee? Or started reading a book and read a fair few pages before realizing that the main character […]


November 13, 2013


A guest who breaks the dishes of his host is not soon forgotten: Djibouti proverb Abdourahman A. Waberi’s Passage des Larmes is one of those books.  You know, the ones you are forced to read in book groups, or pick up because it’s on a ‘recommends’ table in the bookshop and you need makeweight on […]

Thou whoreson zed!

August 16, 2013


Two hippopotamuses cannot share the same hole:  Ivory Coast Proverb In an attempt to change the pace a little, this week I chose to read a play, Jaz, by Koffi Kwahulé.   Little did I realise when I chose Kwahulé, the wealth of material available on him, the frequency with which his plays are performed in […]