Sunday 15 April 2018

The Mourned One, 1975, Stanlake Samkange ***

The Mourned one narrates the story of a young man who is condemned for allegedly raping a white woman in Rhodesia, today's Zimbabwe.
Ndatshana is born a twin, separated from his brother after birth, saved and raised by a white missionary. Life is good until he realises he does not really belong and starts to enquire about his background, which, does not sit well with the white missionaries.

The woman he allegedly raped is his
friend and co-teacher, who resents him since he shows no inferiority complex after getting acquainted with his blackness. The circumstances surrounding the incident isn't clear enough as Ndatshana do not recall having raped his colleague as he was drunk at that time, moreover it all seems like a set up anyway, as the young man isn't behaving as it is expected from a "native".

Stanlake Samkange (1922 - 1988) was an expressive and articulate writer, this novel is more of a historical fiction, a way to document one of the many atrocities and injustice committed by the white majority rule in Rhodesia. An educational read and an add up to my  African Writers Series Challenge

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