Cola Cola Jazz
Kangni Alem, 2003
Summary: Kangni Alem (full name Kangni Alemdjrodo) b. in 1966 is Togolese dramatist. Born in Togo, 1966, Kangni Alem Alemdjrodo holds a PhD in French, Comparative and French African Literature of University of Bordeaux III, France. Novelist, playwright and short story writer, he has published more than ten books. He is professor of theater and literature at University of Lomé, Togo. His works explores the political and historic memory of African peoples through themes like slavery, dictatorship and racial and cultural métissage. He lives between Lomé and Bordeaux in France. Some publications: "Chemins de croix", "Atterissage," "Cola cola jazz," Canailles et charlatans", Un rêve d’Albatros"…
Winner of the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire in 2003
An African in Greenland
Tete-Michel Kpomassie, 2001
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Series: New York Review Books Classics
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Summary: Tété-Michel Kpomassie was a teenager in Togo when he discovered a book about Greenland—and knew that he must go there. Working his way north over nearly a decade, Kpomassie finally arrived in the country of his dreams. This brilliantly observed and superbly entertaining record of his adventures among the Inuit is a testament both to the wonderful strangeness of the human species and to the surprising sympathies that bind us all.
By woburnmusicfan on September 17, 2003 When author Kpomassie was a teenager in his native Togo in the '50s, he nearly died in a fall, and was pledged by his father to become a priest of the python cult that cured him. While looking for a way around this future, he happened upon a book about Greenland and became obsessed with the idea of moving there and becoming a hunter. Over the course of several years, Kpomassie worked his way across West Africa and Europe before arriving in Greenland in the early '60s. He was possibly the first African to visit Greenland, and was the first black person most of the Greenlanders had ever seen. He became a minor celebrity ("I've heard about you on the radio since you arrived in the south"), as the locals, particularly children and young women, swarmed around the exotic stranger. As he made his way up the coast of west Greenland, he stopped in several towns, where he was invariably taken into someone's home as a guest and treated to fine delicacies like seal blubber and mattak (beluga whale skin). Kpomassie is an excellent observer, and this book is as good an introduction to Greenlandic culture as Gretel Ehrlich's "This Cold Heaven". Kpomassie is a much more straightforward writer than Ehrlich, and this book therefore makes an easier read. The reader gets to learn about two exotic cultures: Kpomassie's tales of his upbringing in the Mina tribe of Togo is as interesting as his travels in Greenland.