Powerful, heartbreaking and a must read for us all

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lpharo Avatar


This story is set in Zimbabwe and we follow the life of Tumi who desperately wants to make the Zimbabwean national swimming team because for him swimming is a way that he escapes the hatred and exclusion his albinism brings him. He then goes to stay with his grandmother (His Ambuya) and the trauma from the terrible thing that happened to him all comes flooding back. Ambuya then tries to console him by revealing her own past, a story of living in war torn Rhodesia.

This book is a powerful, moving and heartbreaking tale that I'd reccomend to everyone. Hearing both Tumi and Ambuya's stories broke my heart and listening to how they remained strong and overcome all of the hatred they'd experienced was inspiring. Learning about the awful atrocities that are committed against people with Albinism in parts of Africa and things that still happened to this day really shocked me because it was something I had no idea was even happening. And then the book switching to Ambuya's past and her life living in Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) in the 1970s which was a place riddled with war and racial hatred where the native Zimbabweans fought for their independence over White British colonial rule, which was something they didn't gain until 1980. Ambuya's story was filled with murder, war and an illegal love and then we go back to Tumi in the 21st century who is still facing hatred, discrimination and physical abuse and kidnapping due to his albinism. It is a truly harrowing read but one that is powerful, educating and will hopefully start some important conversations and as Tavengerwei rightly said in her authors note "I hope this book challenges you to refuse to let skin colour blind you - and that you ultimately refuse to tolerate injustice in any form"