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My Life My Africa: An Untamed African Tale of Self Discovery [Kindle Edition]

Philen Naidu , Cheryl Ramurath
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Have you ever had the desire to just drop everything and follow your Heart?

Philen Naidu did just that. Faced with a choice between risking it all on a dream, or dying with regrets of choosing the comfort zone instead, Naidu dropped out of university, strapped on his backpack, left his family and friends behind and set off into the deep and wild unknowns of REAL Africa, with nothing to rely on except the voice of his Heart. A voice that he trusted would lead him to True Love and Freedom. But would it?

Naidu allows us to join him in his early-life crisis as he journeys into an Africa that few of us get to truly experience; and a journey within himself that few of us dare to follow.

There's no new camera and bug spray in his luggage, as he heads north from his comfortable suburban South African upbringing into unknown rural lands.

It's a movingly honest account of his time spent traveling and living amongst the people of tribal Zambia, his westernized way of thinking constantly challenged as he becomes accustomed to a new way of life.

Whether he's bumping into wild hippo at night, sitting in the shade of mango trees with the villagers and sharing in their 'local brew', or learning the intricacies of smuggling items across the border for business, what he discovers along the way about life and himself is so clear and simple, yet so difficult to apply.

It's a journey that will have you thinking about everything - where your food comes from and with whom you share it, to how you'd go about fighting off competitors to get the prized liver from a recently culled elephant.

My Life My Africa is the inspiring true-life story of a young man's search to finding freedom, finding faith, knowing god and discovering purpose for his existence.

"In the tradition of Homer's Odyssey and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, My Life My Africa invites the reader to experience a young man's journey to find his truth and to test himself against the forces of life that tempt him to abandon his soul and his beliefs." - Pulitzer Prize Nominee, Barbara Benjamin

Take a Journey Through Africa and See it With Your Soul

Scroll up and grab a copy today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This book is a memoir - with no pretense or masks to be 'socially acceptable' - gathered and processed over about 14 years, starting from my early twenties. So it is very personal in every aspect - my experiences, thoughts, language, emotions, opinions etc. During these years, the boy who lived and wrote this story has evolved, so please understand that what is captured in this book is captured in a moment of my life and is definitely fallible and open for questioning.
Yet, somewhere beneath my raw human-ness, there is a message for you, as there has been for me, from the One who authored this book and who authors our lives. Yes, I am not the author ... merely the storyteller.
This is my hope:
That you would find questions rather than answers.
And that these questions prompt you to live more courageously and honestly with your own Heart.

Please forgive my language, if it offends you in certain places. Throughout this book you will see italicised sections, these are actual extracts from my journals and are raw ... even offensive to some. So I am sorry if it offends you, since this is not my intention, however, I make no apology for who I am, the emotions I have felt and the way that I have expressed them. If words like fuck, or me smoking the Ganja and drinking alcohol offend you, please take this opportunity to return your copy of My Life My Africa, now.
Respectfully, I thank you.

Please also note that I have chosen to not adapt my South African English to another form of English, because I wish to remain true to who I am, and where I come from. So expect to find colloquialisms, spelling and grammar that might not be familiar to you.

And lastly, please note that I have changed the names of some people and places.

Thank you for sharing this Journey with me. May you be inspired and encouraged, as you walk yours.
Enjoy the ride ...

From the Back Cover

"Every man reaches his destination, if he just keeps walking..."

My mid-life crisis came early; I was only 23 when I began pondering the purpose of my life. Desperately unhappy with where I was, and the future that I could see for myself, I made a crazy decision to sacrifice everything and follow my heart.

It took three years for my heart to speak, but when it did, the call was clear. I dropped out of university, said goodbye to friends and family, stuffed my life into a 25-litre backpack, and set off into the unknown.

What followed was a five year African adventure that carried me to places, and through experiences, that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.
Did I hear my heart correctly?
Could my heart be trusted?
What if I was wrong?

These are questions that only time would reveal, all I could do was just keep walking.
This is my story.
It could be yours.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2674 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: My Life My Africa Book; Two edition (March 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,377 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The moving "My Life My Africa" March 31, 2013
By Telana
Format:Kindle Edition
"My Life My Africa" is a touching book of a man's soul searching journey. Philen Naidu shares his story of how his disillusionment with life lead him to give up everything he knew in his fist world existence and follow an instinct to travel into rural Africa. He encounters his own conditioning when faced with a culture and way of life so different to the one he'd grown up in and become accustomed to.

By reading this gripping story of one man, I found myself asking questions of my own life experience, and the way of life we are led to believe is the ultimate way to live. I yearn even more now to travel into Africa and experience for myself another philosophy of living that is more communal and focused on what really matters in life, like relationships.

"My Life My Africa" reads like watching a movie with its informal style. I felt like I was having a coffee with Philen as he went into story telling mode, sharing his emotions and self questioning, and reading from his actual journal. The realness of Philen's expression keeps you turning the pages, and wishing you were having that actual coffee to ask about aspects he doesn't go into detail about in the book.

For a refreshing look at how life keeps us questioning our values, I recommend "My Life My Africa" as a fantastic read of a real life story that I am sure will move you in some way, as it has moved me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended. October 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to know the real Africa with its mix of personalities (the simple, the corrupt and the in-between). It was interesting to learn that some the words in the Zambian language were the same ones used in East Africa. The first part of the book took me back to the simpler times when I was surrounded by "Ubuntu" - before I became a "Muzungu" and got sidetracked. I love this book. I am glad that it was very realistic. I am glad the middle section of the African trading did not go on for a long time. The ending went back to the basics. Well done!!!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Adventure, but little else.... September 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I got a free copy from the author with a request to review this book. The synopsis kindled my interest because it is not often I , as an Indian myself, find books of this type from people of Indian origin.

I would summarize the book briefly as follows: Naidu, a South African of Indian descent, at age 23, feels alienated by the lack of direction in his comfortable life in Johannesburg and decides to go to Zambia to 'find himself'. He lives there among the rural poor, wild hippos, rhinos and elephants and eventually ends up in the business of 'smuggling' goods across the border between S.Africa and Zambia. During this period, he is involved in a serious road accident that leaves him unconscious and in a coma. Finally, he regains consciousness and recovers to health 'miraculously'. In the process, he 'discovers' himself.

As I reached two-thirds into the book, it felt no different from the experiences of many backpackers. Still, there is some real adventure in Naidu's travels as he encounters a wild elephant in the forests where he camps, sleeps near a waterhole and wakes up in the morning in the company of wild hippos and so on. Later, he comes to know that there was a pride of seven lions in the area and elephants with their young ones. This is fantastic and real adventure. Unfortunately, I must say that this was the only thing that really stirred me in the book and that I wasn't excited about much else concerning his 'search'.

A bit of reflection made me realize that people coming from different socio-economic backgrounds would view Naidu's 'existential crisis' in substantially different ways. This is probably at the root of my reaction.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY LIFE MY AFRICA by Philen Naidu February 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? How am I going to get there? As an older, American, “white” male reader who likes stories about peoples lives, written by themselves, I LOVED THIS BOOK. A few words I can’t pronounce. A few words that would normally offend me, but didn’t. In the middle of the book I began to wonder just where the story was going. In the last ten percent of the book I got the answer. A very good read, I gave it five stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! March 22, 2014
By Chester
Format:Kindle Edition
Philen has no doubt led a full and remarkable life so far. I greatly admire his courage to follow his 'inner guidance' of what his heart was telling him, and then to step into the unknown the way he did. I found the book easy to read and enjoyed Philens writing style. Judging by Philens adventurous spirit, I'm sure that there will be more books to come. I highly recommend and look forward to the sequel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good February 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A excellent novel about Africa. Gives insite into how difficult their lives are but how much they enjoy life in a difficult climate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read February 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, normally I read romance and this was a nice alternative, it held your interest, good book
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opener February 2, 2014
By Cheryl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quick read that opened my eyes to a different culture. I enjoyed your writing style particularly the italic entries. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense and nonsense and more nonsense!
Initially it appears like some nostalgic book, but later that reason too gets void. "You are illegal, maybe Pakistan" Pakistan is pretty famous!
Published 4 months ago by Sriharsha
5.0 out of 5 stars My Life My Africa is highly recommended
I recommend "My Life My Africa" to those who have traveled to third world countries to relive the journey and also those who want to live the journey through someone else. Read more
Published 5 months ago by B Grumet
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful and thought provoking
Awesome journey of discovery. Very insightful and inspirational

Loved every minute of it

Thought the way detailed descriptions of ordinary life become... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David de Villiers
2.0 out of 5 stars anecdotal dinner party conversation.
On picking up this title, I was inspired by the cover. I loved the landscape depicted and the prospect of discovering this picturesque Africa through the eyes of a young explorer. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Avidreader
3.0 out of 5 stars okay
the author tells us about his personal journey through Africa on a spiritual awakening venture. I wish he would've told us more personal stories about the people and adventures he... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame good effort but not a great read
I feel the Author held back and put out his alter ego and not true self.
Book fell flat at the end
Did research on the Author and feel he blows up his own ego alot... Read more
Published 6 months ago by ClaraUK
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Interesting learning different customs and ways of life in a country I will probably never have a chance to visit. The author makes you feel like you are there with him. Read more
Published 6 months ago by angie rathbone
5.0 out of 5 stars an honest description of a young mans journey in life
I know this to be an honest account of a mans life! It is enspiring to read the story in whole having know bits of it in real life... definitely worth a read! Read more
Published 6 months ago by S. A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Colorful Travelogue
This is a story by a young South African man who seeks to find himself by traveling to exotic locations. The accounts of tribal life are fascinating. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chris Cennedy
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More About the Author

Inspired by the writings of Paulo Coelho and James Redfield's Celestine Prophecy, Philen Naidu began his writing career around April 2000 when he responded to a call on his Heart. What followed was a 5-year journey through wild, unknown and rural Africa that culminated in the release of his debut book in March 2013, My Life My Africa.

Naidu then spent 2006 to 2013 devoting his time to 'Giving Back' - in an urban 'squatter camp' (slum area) of Johannesburg, South Africa, where he discovered his passion for serving the needs of children and youth living in marginalized and impoverished communities.

At the end of 2013, he received the next tug on his Heart and is now in India working on book two, although he says that book two is actually the one that's doing the work in him.

Philen Naidu was born in 1976, in Durban South Africa, to two government-school teachers in a country governed under the law of apartheid, which promised little hope.

A boy who was taught to believe in his dreams and to take the necessary risks in pursuing them, he has lived - and continues to live - a life away from convention, in search of Love, Freedom and True Community. An 'Itinerant Vagabond', is what his uncle and godfather calls him; a description he embraces.

"I don't know where the road goes," Naidu says, "all I know is that I have committed to follow it as long as my Heart leads the way. So far, Heart has not let me down and I have lived a truly blessed life, so I just keep walking and trusting, although ... make no mistake ... I live most days with fear and self-doubt at war against my childlike hope."

If you would like to follow the Journey as it unfolds, please visit

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