West Africa in the 1970s were volatile years immediately following independence. Ian Mathie’s work in water resources brought him in contact with a number of Presidents, five Kings, two Emperors, dozens of village and tribal chiefs and a succession of extraordinary people. Circumstances contrived to place him at dinner with four heads of state whose rule had immense impact, positive and negative, on their countries and on West Africa: Mobutu of Zaire, Traoré of Mali, Senghor of Senegal and Eyadema of Togo.
These events, together with other experiences that could only happen in Africa, are related in this anthology of ten tales.
Besides showing an aspect of some of Africa’s leaders that is seen by few people, this book will take you on an exotic train ride a thousand miles across West Africa, introduce you to Godfrey, who loved elephants and accidentally trained a herd to be ridden as they worked in his game park and introduce a Togolese sorcerer with an extraordinary ability to travel at speed and appear in the most unexpected places. You will participate in a jailbreak Ian found himself organising in the jungle and journey with a camel train through the hellish sands of the Sahara to the dreaded salt mines of Taoudénni.
This fascinating collection of memoirs will show you aspects of Africa seldom seen by outsiders and tell you of surprising events which may stretch your belief but are nonetheless all true and give a flavour of the rich diversity of life that hides in the Dark Continent.