A Book and a Country

By the first week of April I turned the last page of a book given to me as a present. Needless to say, I loved it. I appreciate the genre (thriller) and, foremost, the action happens in South Africa and Mozambique. In terms of this country, that I know so well, I just have to add that the Australian writer was very well coached. It’s real. It’s interesting. It’s fair enough.

Well, he killed “the pants thief”, something I would never do. However, as he was involved with a South African femme fatale, maybe killing him was for the best. He was spared of the realization that he was collecting the panties of a snake.

I was left with the impression I have, from time to time, that we should write about subjects a little distant from us, be it in time or space. As I have the inclination to write about my own experiences, I wonder if I would be more productive if I tried to write about the Kumbuk River or the 15th century?

Be it fiction or reality, this is not a country to leave you indifferent. People usually love it or hate it. There are reasons for both, hate and love. The first aspect to love is also the first you may hate. I’m talking about people. They are quite affable and resourceful. You will love all that, for sure. But if someone steals your purse, you probably are going to generalize and hate them all just because of a bad experience.

The book presents the zamas zamas, a horde of clandestine miners from where an exceptional man stands out. He is described as a sort of African Rambo known as The Teacher. I am just afraid that most of the readers are going to feel the contrary of my own experience. Based on the book, you probably think that the majority of Mozambicans are bad and only The Teacher is a good man. As for the rest, I couldn’t agree more with the author’s take on Mozambique.

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