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Dust Diaries, by Owen Sheers

Dust Diaries, by Owen Sheers

  • R 8000

When Owen Sheers discovers a book in his father's study he stumbles upon the life of an obscure relative: Arthur Cripps, lyric poet and maverick missionary to Rhodesia. Compelled by the description of Cripps' extraordinary life in Africa, Sheers embarks on a journey through contemporary Zimbabwe in an attempt to better understand his ancestor's devotion to the country and its people and the dramatic, often bloody, differences that echo across the years.
Arriving in Africa at the turn of the last century, Cripps establishes his own mission at Maronda Mashanu; the neighbouring European community soon grow suspicious of Cripps' unorthodox methods, and conflict with the British South Africa Company ensues.
Better understood by the Africans he lives with, Cripps devotes his life to defending their interests, walking and running for miles between settlements and serving as a chaplain in East Africa in the First World War. The Shona community name him Mpandi, 'The man who walks like thunder', and when Cripps dies, fifty years after his arrival in his adopted country, he is honoured at his funeral with the burial songs of a Shona chief.

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