Dayo Forster, Reading the Ceiling, Pocket Books: Ayodele has just turned eighteen and has decided, having now reached womanhood, that the time is right to lose her virginity. She’s drawn up a shortlist: Reuben, the failsafe; Yuan, a long-admired schoolfriend; Frederick Adams, the 42-year-old, soon-to-be-pot-bellied father of her best friend. What she doesn’t know is that her choice of suitor will have a drastic effect on the rest of her life. Three men. Three paths. One will send Ayodele to Europe, to university and to a very different life – but it will be a voyage strewn with heartache. Another will send her around the globe on an epic journey, transforming her beyond recognition but at the cost of an almost unbearable loss. And another will see her remain in Africa, a wife and mother caught in a polygamous marriage. Each will change her irrevocably – but which will she choose?
Dembo Fanta Bojang e Sukai Mbye Bojang, Folk Tales and Fables from the Gambia Volume 1, African Books Collective: The stories narrate the tricks, deceit and greed of hyena in all his relationships. These traits come out strongly in the tales entitled: ‘the cow, hyena, lion and hare share a home’, ‘hyena and hare go in search of food’ and ‘the hyena and the hare’. Hare, however, shows his ingenuity to always outsmart hyena. Cat’s pilgrimage to Mecca and his self righteous attitude on his return was challenged by the eldest member of the clan of rats. He was reminded of his old ways before his transformation. Gambian folk tales carry moral lessons and even though they are not all spelt out in this collection, they are evident.
Dembo Fanta Bojang e Sukai Mbye Bojang, Folk Tales and Fables from the Gambia Volume 2, African Books Collective: The fight between Massaneh Ceesay & Bakary Niuminko for the hand of the beautiful Banjulian girl, Fatou, has been a popular legend in The Gambia. The two men used marabouts notable in their mystic powers to win the young lady. Who did she choose? This second volume of Folk tales and Fables includes myths as well as fables. Koochi Barama is a story that transcends all the Gambian tribes. He was a close childhood friend of the king of Sabach. Koochi lived with his two wives. This story shows how lies and betrayal can affect close relationships. In the olden days, rulers used to forge alliances and exchange experiences. The close bond between the kings of Niamanty and Burawulay was well respected. Thus when the king of Niamanty died, his friend was consulted in the administration of his estate. The fables in this collection continue to teach the moral lessons and our cultural values.