Zanzibar Kwa Heri: Farewell, Zanzibar
The main character, Melissa, is girl of seventeen when the story begins, and just a few years older when the book ends. When the Revolution of 1964 killed her parents, she was taken in by a cousin and her husband. Work for an Asian girl was impossible to find after the professional men fled the island with their families. She not have the necessary 56000 shillings the government demanded in order to pay to leave. That amount, in that time, amounted to the total wages of a professional man for seven years. The parents of Melissa and Tonio always expected them to marry, and they were happy with that. Tonio was already in Tanzania and doing well in the Tax office for which he has been well trained in the English System. He was saving money, but it was impossible to get 56 000 shillings. After a sad day of looking for non-existent work, Melissa ran into Saidi, a dhow captain and long -time friend of her parents. He knew of her engagement to Tonio, the death of her parents and realized she simply had to flee Zanzibar or she'd be forced into marriage with a man not of her race or religion, who probably already had a wife or two. Every step of her way seems to bring her to extremely dangerous circumstances, she is blackmailed in Dar, stranded in Masai country, bitten by a mamba, two attempts on her life in one afternoon, massacre of her uncle and his family, as well as knowing kind and good people of every color. Being married and happy with Tonio, having enough money and friends, turned out not to be enough when Idi Amin and his ilk were in charge. They managed once again to flee, and this time they have sailed into harbor in Australia. I made up these characters. I didn't make up the circumstances. I either heard about them from friends or read about them in the Dar Standard. The usual grapevine in Dar is word of mouth, and it works a charm. I have one other book published, Faraway Rivers, which is, fictionalized history of the life of Etienne Brule.
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