14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Contrast of Cultures,
This review is from: The Heart of Redness (Hardcover)
This novel was a worthy winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa and the Sunday Times Fiction Award, both for 2001.
In it, Zakes Mda introduces us to a clash of Cultures - not, as so often in South Africa, between black and white, but between educated urban black and rural poverty-stricken black.
Camagu comes back from Hillbrow, Johannesburg, to his homeplace, a village in the Transkei. Here the people are still split between the Believers and the Unbelievers.
Believers or not, that is, in the prophecies of a young girl 150 years ago. She told the Xhosa nation that they should kill all their cattle and not cultivate the fields. That when the the time was right, the dead (cattle and people) would rise and they would defeat their enemies. Instead, the nation was almost destroyed.
The story Zakes Mda tells is interesting but, what gives it depth and complexity, is this interaction between past and present, between the modern and the traditional.I enjoyed it.