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Black Mamba Boy

by Nadifa Mohamed

At times harrowing but ultimately uplifting, Jama's story is one of survival, family and determination. Leaving his Somali home following the death of his mother, Jama begins a quest to find his father. His solitary journey is a perilous one as he contends with the Italian occupation of Abyssinia in the 1930s and the dangers of being a young boy alone in the world. An eye-opener on a less-known period of African history and life as a refugee.

Extract

Nosy goats peered out from doorways nibbling delicately on vegetable peels and oily paper wrappers as they silently observed the passing crowd with inquisitive eyes. Their thirsty, frustrated kids jittered around under their feet trying to grab at their hoisted teats, the milk commandeered for human enjoyment by red, blue or yellow cloth guards tied around their mothers' full dripping udders. The crush of life around Jama was breathtaking, shocking after the space and wide horizons of Somaliland.

Parallels

From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah
Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah
 

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