- File Size: 517 KB
- Print Length: 309 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: #HelpAfricanAlbinos (January 9, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 9, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N214BWU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Then She Was Born: Born to be different, surviving to make a difference Kindle Edition
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Adimu, like one of every 4,000 people born in Tanzania, is born an albino and is considered to be a non-person by their superstitious neighbors. Just because their skin lacks the melanin to make them black, they are not only ignored, but they are hunted like animals. Their skin, hair, and limbs are considered to be good luck charms by the superstitious people of Tanzania.
This fictional account of Adimu tells about the true-to-life suffering of a tragic people in Tanzania. Adimu’s story is very sad one. What makes it even more sad is that it is experienced by real people today. This story is valuable for two important reasons. Of course, foremost is that if people are made aware of this atrocity, hopefully something can be done to save these endangered people. Second, this story makes us think about those judgments we, ourselves, make about others who may differ, in some way, from ourselves. Why are we often afraid of or suspicious of someone who is different from ourselves? I highly recommend Adimu’s story.
Through a rare stroke of luck, the grandmother, Nkamba, convinces the village chief and the shaman and is allowed to take the child, which she names Adimu. Adimu grows up suffering the scorn of the village until she meets Charles and Sarah Fielding, a wealthy white couple who own a mine near the village. A bond develops between them, but Charles, a man consumed by the desire for wealth, suffers financial loss and falls sway to the village shaman, who covets power, leading him to make a decision that imperils Adimu’s life, his relationship with his wife, and his sanity.
Then She Was Born by Cristiano Gentili is a profound, thought-provoking novel that highlights the plight of albinos in Africa through the life of one such individual. The characters are brought to life on the pages, as is the physical and cultural environment and its impact on the people inhabiting it. The author could have preached about the terrible treatment inflicted upon albinos, but instead does a masterful job of ‘showing’ the reader through Adimu’s encounters with other villagers, with the gangs who hunt albinos for their supposed magical powers, and the relationships between black and white Africans, people who are united by a common culture while at the same time divided by race and class. Character motivations are also shown by their reactions to events; for instance, the shaman’s obsession with power as he puts his traditional beliefs up against the lure of Christianity, brought to Africa by the white missionaries, but carried on by local converts. At the same time, the way locals carry two belief systems and reconcile them in their daily lives, and the conflicts this causes, is highlighted. Throughout the book, the strength of the human spirit, and its ability to redeem is abundantly apparent.
The cover, a simple graphic showing hands of different colors clasped, highlights both the conflict and cooperation that exists in the story.
Without preaching, the author highlights the plight of Africa’s albinos more effectively than all the UN pamphlets or political speeches.
Another great strength of this book is that, though it was written originally in Italian, the English translation is so smooth, it’s not at all apparent that this is a translation.
Most westerners are unaware of the problems faced by albinos in traditional African societies, but after reading this book, can not only become aware, but might just be called to action to help do something about it.
I give this book five stars for theme and execution. A compelling read that you should not miss.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a story about an albino baby born in a Tanzanian village. Considered an evil omen, the father rejected both the child and his wife, and the...Read more
This is a book that gives you much to think about.Read more
The novel has been written with a motive in mind.Read more