WACHEERA, CHILD OF AFRICA by Fay Childs

WACHEERA, CHILD OF AFRICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is need for good stories about contemporary Africa, and this book, set in Kenya, is an adequate choice to help fill the gap. The intent of the book is clearly to demonstrate the mores of a small, unprogressive village, and the fictionalization is secondary to this effort. The story deals with Wacheera, a 12- year-old girl with a driving ambition to attend school, as her older brother has been permitted to do. Just why she feels this way instead of being content with her position as her sister, is, is not very clear. Her father, whose opinion is quite respected by the other villagers, is opposed to the infiltration of western methods to supplant some of the old traditions which are keeping the village impoverished and backward. While his attitude is made clear in tribal terms, his personal, underlying feelings are not strongly expressed. A series of disasters finally convinces him and his neighbors to seek aid. Wacheera solves her problem even less convincingly when she is rewarded for finding a missing elephant. The book does provide a good picture of family life in that area, with the women playing a very inferior role, and of their normal activities and attitudes.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1965
Publisher: Criterion