Children of Paradise
Lewis Nkosi, doyen of African letters, called South Africa in the 1950s the "fabulous decade." It was a decade that threw up some of the most remarkable political struggles of African people against European oppression: from the Defiance Campaign to the women's anti-pass march, bus boycotts, and the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in 1955, which became the blueprint for change in South Africa. These events form the backdrop to the quirky narratives in this book of short stories. Set in the vibrant community of the (now extinct) Brakpan Old Location outside Johannesburg, the stories bring to life the seminal moments of the period. The charm and humor of the collection is provided in plentiful supply by its small narrator, Baba Boy, who offers an unusual - and at times hilarious - personal view of the unfolding events. The book also includes the eccentricities of a cast of courageous characters, such as Grace Ramakola, MaX, and others. Children of Paradise celebrates, above all, the resilience of people who chose to be not victims but 'creative fighters' against a system that sought to dispossess them of dignity and humanity.
Publication Date: 9/1/2011