Being a lover of books, I am always eager to show off the latest from Zambian authors. Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger has a media and psychology degree and holds an MBA. Now based in Erlangen, Germany, she is a proud Zambian whose writing reflects perspectives on Africa.
Gazed on by Angels in Flight: Victoria Falls
The best bit about this book is the strong Zambian female characters. Sofia is the reigning Miss Copperbelt, Cocoa a budding model and Jody, a successful journalist. Each with their own challenges and their lives thrown together in Livingstone, Zambia, this book cleverly educates audiences about Victoria Falls whilst touching on core issues that need more awareness and action.
One may be put off by the Victoria Falls pageant that is central to the storyline – a superficial theme perhaps? In fact the book cover put me off completely. But Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger does intertwine a more meaningful storyline related to Zambian history, culture, wildlife, and everyday reality.
I do feel the book begs to be longer. Many a storyline appears to be cut short with an overly simplistic approach that I found unrealistic, shallow and hard to believe. Is this because I am the wrong audience? I am a reader of big books that challenge me. I would suggest that Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger’s Gazed on by Angels is spot on for a younger female audience aged in their teens to mid twenties perhaps.
Gazed on by Angels in Flight would be a ‘chic flic’ if it were a movie. And there’s nothing wrong with a good ‘chic flic’. This book has tails of career girl romance mixed in with challenges related to tribal differences, mixed heritage routes, rape and family drama in a Zambian context.
Exorcism of the Demon Child: African Ndoki
The second book also had a cover that completely turned me off. But this cover is relevant to the content. This is a challenging read because it features Koffi, a boy child who is horrifically abused. Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger summarises her book well. ‘It is a book about child abuse and occult African practices concealed in religious guise. This is a story of a young boy subjected to unorthodox exorcism rituals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because of being labelled an Ndoki or child witch.’
It is refreshing to read about the complications of African traditions written by an African. This will raise awareness about the ‘Ndoki phenomenon’ and Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger’s belief that all children should be loved, protected and provided certainly shines through. This book will stir up feelings of anger, sorrow and probably a feeling of powerlessness – afterall what can one do about the many children that suffer across the world? I say, take action. Love, care for and educate the little children around you, even those that are not your own.
Hilda Sangwa Schwaiger normally resides in Germany but is will be visiting Zambia to raise publicity about her books.
On 31st October 2012, Hilda will feature on Radio Phoenix when she will be interviewed by Lusubilo Gondwe at 08.30 hours.
Hilda will attend a book signing at Planet Books in Arcades Shopping Mall on Friday 2nd November and Saturday 3rd November 2012, from 09:30 to 14:00 hours – a perfect time to buy your copies and get them signed!