This book recounts the British-Zimbabwean author’s travels to Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa, midway through the last decade, a time of student unrest and imminent political upheaval.You will be interested in this book if:You enjoy narrative, non-fiction writingYou have an interest in personal narrativesYou enjoy contemporary descriptions of places including the people, history and cultures thereofYou enjoy anecdotal reporting which ties into a bigger narrative storyYou enjoy an infusion of humourous anecdote and conversation The author draws on the experiences of his formative years: the happy, annual ‘pilgrimage’ to his mother’s family in Durban, layovers on the Highveld with her brother Mark, and later, the university years, where his eyes were opened to the realities and complexities of his erstwhile sheltered life.It begins with his return to Pretoria, where he spent his final university year, 13 years earlier. He meets an old colleague from his first university, Rhodes, and attempts to juxtapose past and present. How have things changed since then? What would it take to make him go back to his studies? And what does the current student unrest portend under the banners #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall?He then steps back a year to when he returned from abroad to attend his brother’s wedding. He spends some time in a Cape Town backpackers and meets some intriguing inhabitants, Okkert and Carllo. Carllo is in communion with The Essence, a mystical life-force, and offers to divine his future. Underlying his travels around South Africa, now in its 3rd decade of democracy, are questions of identity, affiliation and haunting questions from the past. Just who was his Uncle Derek, of whom he was so fond, who alluded to things others of his generation would never give voice to? What motivated his grandmother to hold on to life so tenaciously despite the drastic deterioration of her physical being? And, most importantly, what role did the Catholic Church play in the life of his late mother and what was the legacy of his Catholic upbringing?The last two chapters are given over to his varied adventures at Ardmore Guest Farm at the foothills of the Central Drakensberg. A motley assortment of characters grace the pages of this one-of-a-kind establishment.Despite many of the events recorded here harking back to the last decade, the author gives an honest assessment of the current state of affairs in South Africa in the Afterword, and his take on the politics, dynamics and choices the nation faces today, in 2023, almost thirty years after Independence.
About Leo Anthony
Leo has spent the last 6 years in mainland Europe, initially living in an intentional community on the Dutch-German border, and more recently just outside the town of Kleve (Cleves) in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany.When he isn’t writing he spends his time looking after children with Mirjam, fixing up their old house and gardening.He can be contacted at [email protected]
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