17-05-2020 by Leni Frau
At a time when for many people Africa is far away and reading should be a fundamental company, malindikenya.net recommends "The Wizard of Crows", an afro-fantasy novel full of political-social symbolism by Ngugi wa Thiongo'o written in 2006.
Through a deep and satirical story about the brutality of the phantom "Free Republic of Aburiria", the reader finds himself immersed in a story halfway between magic and reality in a country that could very well be Kenya (especially the post-Jomo Kenyatta one, where the hunger for power is spreading) or any African state freed from colonization to end up sadly in the clutches of other tyrannies, where the climate is of fear, repression and constant suspicion led by a megalomaniac dictator.
The President of Aburiria (whose name we will never know) is surrounded by a court of grotesque and caricatured ministers who want to please and indulge him ready to undergo the most absurd surgery to amplify their services. (As the embodiment of dirty politics in the body).
Sikiokuu the Minister of the Interior has his ears enlarged like a rabbit to better spy on the citizens, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Macho Kali has his eyes widened to the size of light bulbs so that he can see the President's enemies everywhere.
Finally, the Minister of Defense Big Ben Mambo decides to have his tongue stretched out so that he can echo the President's words and reach all the soldiers in the country.
As a birthday present, the plan is to erect the tallest building in the world, a Tower of Babel, which would allow the President to reach out and invoke God whenever He sees fit. The project, to which the Global Bank shows great interest and the possibility of large grants, called "March to Heaven" gives rise to a sort of national mania to get in line for a job and this is how the two "good" protagonists of the book Kamiti and Nywira will meet.
Kamiti is an educated young man, endowed with an extraordinary sensitivity and ability to intuit the true character of people. Descended from a family of herbalist sorcerers, he assumes the role of the Wizard of Crows.
Nywira is the beautiful "pasionaria" rebel of the Movement for the Voice of the People who secretly fights for justice and the rights of the oppressed.
From this moment on, the stories of the presidential entourage are intertwined where each one tries to prevail and prevail over the other with subterfuge, pettiness and betrayal with those of the two boys who will become more and more complicit and complementary. The fame of the powers of the Wizard of the Crows grows throughout the country both among those who thirst for power and those who see in him the only possibility of rebellion and freedom and when the President falls ill with this strange disease that will lead him to expand like a huge balloon full of gas will be called the Wizard of the Crows to intervene with his magic powers.
And his diagnosis will be: "The country is pregnant, no one knows what he will give birth to."
Two years after the novel's release, the post-election chaos we know about.
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