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Speak Swahili, Dammit! Paperback – 1 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Trevelyan Publishers Ltd; 3rd edition edition (1 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956890210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956890214
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Speak Swahili Dammit, 8. August 2010
Von Rüdiger Vogs - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen

Rezension bezieht sich auf: Speak Swahili, Dammit ! (Taschenbuch)
This is an extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking book.
The finest account of friendship, passion and love to the people of East Africa.
Shockingly honest, outrageously funny and yet so true.
SSD is the most valued book I have ever read.
Jimu, was not only my companion in the early 1950's but even today we are very close friends and still raving about our wonderful childhood in Geita.
For all Africa fans an absolute must read.
Rudiger Vogs (Dieter Bluger in book) --Mr Rudiger Vogs, former correspondent with CBS, Nairobi, 8.08.2010 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Penhaligon is a multi-lingual consultant psychiatrist in the United Kingdom. Born to Cornish parents, and raised deep in the bush in Tanganyika, later to emerge as Tanzania, he remains a fluent Swahili speaker, and has never been able to escape his early influences, or the gaze it gave him on life and the world. Despite having left Africa, and carving himself a successful career in medicine, and later psychiatry, James has always had a fascinating East African story waiting to be told, and, finally, he has written it. The result is Speak Swahili, Dammit! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Beda Biswalo on 11 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Its been really a daunting task for me to review this book. I mean how do you review a perfect book? The best I can say to anyone is READ IT!

Anyways, I tried to express how I feel and how I believe others should as well...... Enjoy!

Speak Swahili Dammit (SSD) is an exhilarating book. A marvel. A story worth retelling.

It is a true description of life in the bushes of Tanganyika in the 1950's.

Jimu, the author and main character himself, is an articulate story teller who tells the story as it is. This is confirmed as Jimu goes on openly and vividly describing his recollections without hiding or altering events which many would have found too shameful to associate themselves with, like catching fart!

The poor spelling of Swahili words which the author spells as they are pronounced, is a telling fact that he did not know how to read or write in Swahili, yet the rich vocabulary of Swahili words, idioms, insults and jokes confirm that Jimu is a true mSwahili who belongs to the watu.

You will want to read it quietly alone as it is with novel reading, but you will soon be itching to share the fun with someone else.

The book has a rich account of some of the world's most historical moments and events such as the world war II, Tanzania's independence day, the times of colonialism and more.

Its is guaranteed to drive you through a rollacoster of emotions as the author takes you through the good times and the most horrifying experiences of life. Moving you from anger to fear, panic to laughter, then back again to panic, then laughter, suddenly you realize your eyes are wetting with tears, and on emotions keep changing randomly to the last paragraph.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L. Rowe on 7 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
Speak Swahili, Dammit !
This is a must read book. A story that will appeal to young and old a like,and of different cultures. One that you keep wanting to turn the pages of, but yet not wanting it to end.
It is set in Tanganika in the 1950's(what becomes Tansania) in a place called Geita a gold mining community. It is the story of a little white boy Jim (Jimu), growing up with the warmth and love of his family. When tragedy strikes his world falls apart, his father dies leaving a very young angry hurt little boy, who tries to "shoot God" for taking his father away. Yes a book that will make you laugh and cry, a true roller coaster of emotions are experienced, as the writer magically puts his pen to paper.
The story follows Jimu with his friends, which will make you laugh at their adventures. In this harsh land which he clearly loves, and is in his sole.
This is a mans world, but one where his Mother scratches out a living for her young children. Watching her son run wild with local children, and learning Swahili, as his first language. Her heart wrenching decicion to sent him far away to boarding school in Arush , where he has some dreadful experience alone and far away.
The author describes the era well, and what was happening in East Africa and the World at the time,1950's and 60's.
What wonderfull colourful characters are brought to life. Characters who have lasting effects on this young lad. A story of the wildness of Africa,with her wonderful people. The danger of Africa's wild beasts some deadly, which he, Jimu encounters. Its a story of friendships,tragedy, again as he looses his best friend,and a love story, a young boys first love.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nomoss on 25 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. Striking imagery, total, brutal honesty and open hearted writing the like of which is so seldom found (in my experience, at least). I read this from end to end in just a few days - 'stealing' moments to read a little more, moments which so often stretched into midnight hours...
What more could be added that has not already been said by others?
Yes, this is a book to entertain, to educate, to captivate the reader who will be taken through the full gamut of human emotions - possibly even shedding a tear in one or two places.
Well done and very well written, Sir! Thankyou.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr Anthony Kearns on 6 July 2010
Format: Paperback
The best compliment I can pay to this book it that I was sorry to have finished it. Its characters travelled with me over the course of a trip to my own native country and their lives joined mine for that short period.

James Penhaligon, Jimu as he is mostly known in the book (apart from when being addressed in institutional situations by his formal first name of Francis) provided me with a personal guide to the Tanganyika of the 50s and early 60s, an era during which I also was a child. For me the country which is now, as Jim recounts, part of Tanzania, acquired reality where previously my intimations of it had been stamps in my childhood album.

This tour of Jim's early life includes his friends and family, the wildlife, for example the frightening and nigh-on supernatural "fisis" or hyenas, the characters in his community and school, his experiences of death and bereavement and of life-threatening personal illness. He speaks of his family origins in Cornwall with as much affection as about the country of his African childhood. In the background, and emerging to prominence towards the latter part of his story, is the political situation in Tanganyika which was part of the circumstances causing his and his families' reluctant departure from the country.

He tells all this with great fluency and gusto. I do look forward to the next instalment.
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