VOICES THAT SING BEHIND THE VAIL
The fifty-six stories come from fifteen African countries and elsewhere; Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and East of the continent, Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Great Lakes region, Ethiopia and Tanzania (in setting). They bring in other voices in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, St. Maarten, United States and Britain. The themes are amok and definitely so in a vein of free expression. There are stories of love (of even a man who finds one whilst visiting a dying cancer-patient wife at the hospital in Lagos) or of a husband wrongfully imprisoned in Malawi who upon escape from jail confronts a wife about to wed again, a story very reminiscent of the main character in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s, Weep Not, Child.
There is hate and there is poverty – one from Kenya which reads like the Zimbabwean novelist, Dambudzo Marechera’s 1978 classic, The House of Hunger. Issues of mental health, corpse donation for scientific research and Coronavirus-19 are addressed alongside Pentecostal redemption, fake prophets and the havoc they exert on societies as do their counterparts in Islam.