I WILL TRY by Legson Kayira


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A native of Nyasaland, the British protectorate in South Africa, Mr. Kayira reviews here his liberal education as a human being. How old he is just now he doesn't know exactly, since his parents were interested only in the fact of his birth, but he concludes that he must be in his late twenties. As a baby of worse than dirt-poor native parents, Kayira was tossed into a river by his mother when she grew tired of carrying him. He was fished out, however, by an elderly woman and returned to his parents. He was the eldest of his many siblings, nearly all of whom died like flies in childhood. Kayira began to attend school and after nine years went on to the Livingstone Secondary School in a distant village. The school motto ""I Will Try"" was taken from Dr. Livingstone and sewn onto the students' shirt pockets. With complete naivete he began to dream one day of going to college in America. After graduating from secondary school, he set out carrying only a Bible and Pilgrim's Progress to earn his way to the coast and hence to America. By wild good fortune his first letter to an American college, Skagit Valley College near Seattle, drew results and a scholarship, and later transportation costs. He says he wrote the present book as an exercise. He will return to Nyasaland in three years, after his PG courses. It's an amazing pilgrimage and its appeal is particularly to the young.

Publisher: Doubleday