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11Apr

A Fine Madness by Mashingaidze Gomo (Book Review)

A Fine madnessPart prose, part poetry, A Fine Madness is a befitting title to this evocative offering about war from Mashingaidze Gomo. A forward written by Ngugi wa Thiongo, sets the scene for what’s to come; a narrative that tells the story of war in the Congo through the verbatim account by a soldier who lived through it. Important to state that Gomo, who is Zimbabwean was an air force pilot, who served in some of Africa most devastating wars, including the war in the DRC, known as ‘Africa’s world war.’ Gomo’s experiences on the battlefield have served him well because he skilfully paints a visual tapestry of  heinous images, stringed together by the words of an observant soldier through whom, we experience the loneliness, horror and harrowing nature of war.

It is clear that experiencing war and writing about it, also gave the author insight as to why Africans must tell their own stories. His rage is uncontained about the continuous interference of foreign nations in African affairs in the chapter – The Rape – captivated through powerful metaphors. “And the rapists were providing huge sums of money as pre-natal aid to nurture the unwanted pregnancy to a healthy delivery of their bastard offspring that would in inherit Africa and hand it back to them.”

As conflict rages in Libya, Ivory Coast and who can forget the DRC, where militias continue the fight for their share of the nation’s minerals, A Fine Madness is a poignant reminder about the devastating effects of war on the mind and the destruction it leaves in its path. Gomo reminds us about the human cost of war. This is a deep excavation of Africa’s wars and how they have in turn turned her children into beggars though they have all they need, which has resulted in a painful existence. A Fine madness is Gomo’s song for Africa and Africans.

 


A Fine Madness is published by Ayebia Press, UK

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11 Responses to “A Fine Madness by Mashingaidze Gomo (Book Review)”

  1. CLAUDIUS says:

    CAN YOU PLEASE ASSIST WITH MORE DETAILS ON MAYBE THE WHOLE BOOK IF YOU CAN BECAUSE I AM FINDING IT HARD TO UNDRESTAND THIS BOOK EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMS INTERESTING

  2. Belinda Otas says:

    It is a book that requires you as the reader to work hard with the writer…if you read the forward by Ngugi, that might help…

  3. Mazi Nwonwu says:

    Belinda, just learning of this book. Is it as ‘packed’ as they say? Looking forward to reading it. Regards.

  4. Mazi Nwonwu says:

    scratch the above. I actually read the intro and some verses in Story Time in 2010. loved the flow then. The memory just jumped to the fore now. 🙂

  5. nomsa kudinga says:

    well l love the novel as a student l find it interesting however wld want to know the significance of the geological setting.

  6. Romeo says:

    im studying this book & its really fun Gomo is very talented

  7. Belinda Otas says:

    Thanks for reading and dropping a comment. enjoy reading the book

  8. Chipo chipato says:

    I do not understand the book but its so interesting…special thanx to ngugi wa thiongo a rich African writer

  9. xavi hernandez says:

    great imagery throughout….really loved the book.hope its not Mr Mashingaidze’s last.

  10. addie says:

    Can anyone help with the appreciation of “Divine abstraction” from A Fine Madness by M. Gomo

  11. Tawanda Mutomba says:

    The strength of the book is found in Gomo’s ability to observe and contemplate the cancerous chaos in Congo as the 1999 civil war spreads on like veld fire. Through the effective use of imagery the author in chapters such as”Tinyarei” and “Show me a honourable destitute” walks the reader through the face of the battlefied as well as the life of the people in Congo heads on to the ranging war thus highlighting the destruction of property, undevelopment ,loss of life and the demise of moral beacons as prostitution seems to have become an option because of destitution.Not all is negative in Gomo’s presentation of war,indeed the author shows the beauty of war with regards that the war being fought in Congo is a war by african armies to defend the sovereignty of Africa from neo-colonical imperialism of europe which is sponsering rebel groups amongst the african people.

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