All posts tagged: Africa

Bianca Marais takes us back to post-Apartheid South Africa in her stunning new book, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH, about several strong-willed women, one abandoned baby, how we’re all connected, & more

By Leslie Lindsay ‘ Emotional and powerful read about post-apartheid South Africa combing the lives of three very different women and one abandoned newborn.  I read HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS (Putnam, March 2018) and immediately fell in love with Robin and Beauty and also the author, Bianca Marias. In this new title, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH (July 16 2019), you’ll meet a series of three very different women–Dee (Delilah) an ex-nun with a history, her sister, Ruth (an ex-stripper with multiple ex-husbands), and Zodwa, a pregnant Zulu teen living in a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg. How these three women come together will shake you–and just may have you cheering for each one, but for different reasons. Delivered in short, alternating chapters narrated by Ruth, Zodwa, and Delilah, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH shares its characters’ divergent perspectives on class, race, and faith as it probes closely at the 1990s political and socioeconomic headlines. This narrative is complex and there are a lot things going on under the context–rape and rampant racism, stigma …

WeekEND Reading: This woman’s transformation from nomad shepherd girl in Somali to Mayo Clinic R.N. is nothing short of incredible. CONQUERING THE ODDS, refugee camps, teenage depression, suicide awareness & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  Inspiring–and often devastating–story of one Somali woman’s tumultuous childhood as a shepherd girl in the sub-Saharan desert to successful Mayo Clinic R.N.  This book might be slim, but it’s message is mighty and powerful. Born to teenage parents through an arranged marriage, Habibo wailed in her bassinet in a Somali hospital as her young mother was deprived of food and emotional support (at the time, it was the custom of Somali friends and family to provide nourishment to their patients, and not the hospital’s responsibility). When her father came to the front desk, he asked the nurses, “What is the sex of the baby?” When told she was a girl, he turned and walked away.  So begins Habibo’s life. Shuttled between her birth parents (who soon divorced) to her grandfather’s home, and then raised by her maternal grandmother, Habibo’s life was rift with emotional neglect, physical and sexual abuse. At four, she was a shepherd girl caring for 150-plus goats, sheep, cows, coaxing them across the countryside to fertile pastures and clean drinking …