Author: Janet Stuart
Release Date: 1st August 2016
Format: Paperback (406 pages)
In 1974 two recently-married thirty-somethings decide to take a late gap year to explore Africa…
After sailing to Lagos by cargo ship, they travel around Nigeria, Tanzania, Lesotho and South Africa. Using public transport and staying with local families, they strive to understand the countries they explore and to learn more about the political, educational and socio-economic changes that are sweeping the continent.
Janet and Patrick Stuart’s journey is a snapshot of Africa in the mid-1970s. They travel fearlessly from the heights of Kilimanjaro to the depths of the shanty towns, from meetings with Steve Biko to ujamaa villages and moving interracial church services. Along the way they observe with great sensitivity, compassion and wry humour the effects of change on diverse communities in the world’s second largest continent.
This is a very readable memoir of a bygone time. The book is populated by the real characters that lived the experience of decolonisation. Anyone who was travelling through these countries at that time will sense the authenticity and feel a resonance of the text with the sounds, scents and rhythms of the different countries and cultures. But it also maps some of the events and the personalities that shaped the evolution of development and contributed to the social history of the times.
Professor Keith Lewin. BSc; MSc; DPhil; FAcSS, C.Phys; Emeritus Professor of International Development Centre for International Education, University of Sussex