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The author in this short parable-like story provides lessons of life in an African rural set-up that touches on core human values (love, respect, Ubuntu, generosity, perseverance, hard work, trustworthiness, courage, faith and hope) in a story form. He makes good use of the African tradition of using stories to espouse and encourage people especially the young to observe these values.
It is easy for this parable like short-story novel to be mistaken for a children’s book. While tragic in many ways, the story in this book teaches of hope, renewal, commitment and the power of forgiveness. The author writes from the African renaissance perspective and uses the story to carry readers through generational struggles, conflicts, hurts, successes and triumphs.
Although this book is intended to be a teaching tool rather than a novel, we do still relate to the characters and their lives. Thus aspects such as the development and descriptions of characters – protagonists and antagonists are not as important. What the characters do is more important and we learn from their trials and successes. The story offers an enjoyable insight into the African village cultural traditions and the dangers and beauty of wildlife in the African countryside. Human nature is human nature and wherever one might find oneself, the central questions and dilemmas are universal and the ethical aspects that arise from the story bear reflecting upon whatever tradition one is from.