ISBN 9789956558094
Pages 332
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2007
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Tale of an African Woman

by Thomas Jing

The village of Yakiri has been cursed by ancestral wrath because of the treatment of Yaa, the first girl who wrestled her male goatherd peers to earn the right to be initiated into the society of manhood. Her struggle is taken up generations later by Yaya, the granddaughter of Tafan and Wirba. Orphaned like her forebear, Yaya becomes a star student in the village's primary school and promises to go far. But, ask the villagers, is it right to invest in an education for an African girl who may become the property of another village? An educated woman will abandon the farm where she is needed, wear high heels and try to order men around! In the midst of it all, one Irish missionary, living in Africa and for the most time with Africans, literally wiggles his way into hearts and minds. With his intervention, Yaya leaves the village to school in the city, but her troubles as a woman have not really begun. Yarns of cultural borrowing, indigestion and transcendence reveal the simple and complex ways in which community matters are confronted and decided. This happens in shrines where seers are consulted and cowry shells thrown, in palm wine houses, but also around the school and presbytery. The untold stories and perspectives of girls and women burst through in illuminating and uplifting ways. Quarrels, squabbles, near collisions and mutual conversions give way to innovative traditions.

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About the Author

Thomas Jing

Thomas Jing is the first son of a blacksmith. From the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon he earned a BA in History, specializing in Black studies, and worked as a secondary school teacher before earning an MA in translation from the University of Montreal in Canada. In the 1990s in Cameroon, he worked with the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries as senior translator, communications officer and head of archives and started writing for the Cameroon Post newspaper and Cameroon Life magazine. Amid rising political tension, in 1996 he left the country and worked for the South African Council of Bishops with refugees and asylum seekers and wrote for the South African Lawyers for Human Rights. Since 2000 he has lived in Canada and USA where he writes articles in English and French for publications around the world, notably The African Nation, a community newspaper in Maryland.

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