- File Size: 837 KB
- Print Length: 322 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: #437,412 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Then She Was Born: Born to be different, surviving to make a difference Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I learned so much from this book and what I learned from researching afterwards. 1 in 20,000 people around the world are albinos. However, in Africa, 1 in 2,000 to 4,000 African’s are born with albinism. They are still sought after by witch doctors and people who want to get rich quick. They fear the night as that is when their homes are broken into and they are viciously attacked with machetes where they are hacked apart while alive then left to die. There are many arrests but few prosecutions. There are many people who have tried to change old superstitions. Josephat Torner is one. I would not have been inspired to start researching about him if it had not been for the author of this book who sought me out. I would not be inspired to reach out and teach my students about this plight if not for this book. Mine is just one voice, but I proudly raise it along with others to bring this problem to the forefront.
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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
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