Love After the Mau Mau
by Braz Menezes
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Matata’ means trouble in Swahili, and falling in love across racial barriers is big matata, especially in Kenya, a segregated country seething with tensions after the Second World War. Lando, whisked out of Goa and back to Kenya, finds himself enrolled in a non-Catholic Asian school on the edge of an African residential area, just as the Mau Mau, a secret organisation determined to overthrow the colonial government, is slowly spreading its grip of terror from the far-off White-Settler occupied Highlands, into the urban areas, around Lando’s school and allegedly into his home when British forces round up Mwangi (the houseboy), his wife Wangari, their 7-year old Stephen and the baby. They disappear without trace. Passing exams at the time of the Mau Mau proves a challenge. Meanwhile the Winds of Change are already gusting across Africa and the rest of the world.
In a few years the Portuguese and British are forced to give up their colonies in India and East Africa respectively, and just as the racial barriers fall, the Goans who have lived under colonial rulers for over 450 years, are left rudderless and stateless, and have to make hard choices. In spite of all this matata, Lando and the beautiful Saboti meet again under extraordinary circumstances, and that is the biggest matata of them all. Family, friendship, race, terrorism,romance and love, all play their part in this engaging story.
- Matata Books, November 2012
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