4 very strange books I read recently by Africans authors


Alain Mabanckou: le sanglot de l’homme noir (not avalable in English yet)


The tour de force: When I picked up this book, I was seriously NOT expecting what I found. First, this book made a lot of references to the classical work of our great Africans authors (Ousmane Sembéne, Cheik Anta Diop, Ferdinand Oyonno, Ahmadou Kourouma…). But not in the way you would think. Apparently, the whole idea of writing this book was to tell, us, Africans that:

It is true that we are great people with illustrate ancestors. We are proud, beautiful, and hard working. Our ancestors were rich, organized, civilized… They were descendants of the great Egyptians. The most ancient civilizations were born in black Africa…

…So what? 

Can you ancestors feed you?

Africans, Mr Mabanckou is asking us to wake up from such dreams and do something that matter in the present rather than live in the past. It is not helping us in the least. Also, he is asking us, for God’s sake, to stop blaming everything on the white man and acknowledge our share of responsibilities. These are my own interpretation of his text of course.

Brownie point: Very honest and refreshing. A bit brutal. But truth is always a bitter remedy. I don’t necessarily agree on everything he said.

I hope you will read one of these great books! If you do, it will be worth your time. If you have already read them, please do share your thoughts with us. And most importantly, be inspired by these brothers making the world shake from its usual state of indifference and nonchalance.