The Wayward Vagabond by MGN Kahende
David Livingstone: The Wayward Vagabond in Africa is an expression of doubt about the raîson d’etre concerning the 19th Century explorers and missionaries in Africa. Led by David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer and missionary, they are said to have come to civilize “backward” Africans, which the author creatively re-imagines, arguing that it is far from the truth.
Instead, their actions gave impetus to colonialism proper. In this book the omniscient narrator, everywhere, is God’s special envoy mandated to witness history with far-reaching consequences for humanity. His investigation is to help nail David Livingstone on Judgment Day, much the same way St Peter chronicles events in the Book of Life. Read about how, everywhere, the spirit rides on wind, walks on water, enters into his characters’ stream of consciousness and even discerns how they interpret the world around them.
The novel retraces Livingstone’s early life, from his deprived childhood in Blantyre, Scotland; his ideological evolution and training in London and his dramatic sojourn in Monomotapa kingdom, which he half-believes is his destiny. The satirical tone in the novel aptly captures that delusional aspect of Livingstone’s “God-ordained” mission to the world.
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