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A Passage to Africa

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
As a five-year-old, George Alagiah emigrated with his family to Ghana—the first African country to attain independence from the British Empire.A Passage to Africais Alagiah's shattering catalogue of atrocities crafted into a portrait of Africa that is infused with hope, insight, and outrage. In vivid and evocative prose and with a fine eye for detail, Alagiah's viewpoint i ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Little, Brown Book Group
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Susan Steed
Sep 05, 2015 Susan Steed rated it really liked it
Read this ages ago.
Interesting stuff on the legacy of colonialism, and problems of the borders bequeathed by colonial powers. In the end he talks of two Africas, the one the colonialisers decided to settle ('borrowed ideas and imported customs') from an older, more genuine Africa.

He describes the subtlety of the legacy 'black people in places like malawi or kenya still show a vestigial diffidence in the company of whites, the result of the drip-draining of confidence over more than a century of
...more
Shantalie
Sep 21, 2011 Shantalie rated it it was amazing
Really really enjoyed this book. Its not one that was on my reading list, but I picked it up at a a second hand shop simply because I was familiar with George Alagiah from watching BBC News when I was in the UK. It isn't really a autobiography of himself but more about his perspectives on Africa. I think it was particularly good compared to most other autobiographies because he is not self indulgent and instead seeks to give the reader an alternative view of Africa, from the the very unique pers ...more
Duncan
Jun 13, 2016 Duncan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
This is a balanced and ultimately optimistic trip through Africa's recent history by a man who grew up there as a child and has reported on it's triumphs and disasters as an adult - and the moral issues that reporting can throw out.

The early chapters really chimed as his fond memories of a childhood in Africa echo my own - the people, the sunshine, the food etc.
Paul T_M
Feb 10, 2012 Paul T_M rated it really liked it
A friend gave me a loan of this, and at first I thought it would be lightweight and of no real substance - a boastful account of a cossetted BBC reporter. I was wrong. It is in fact two things. Firstly, a part biography of Mr Alagiah, who moved with his family from Sri Lanka (who fled due to the civil war there - his family are tamil) to Ghana when African was liberating itself from its colonial shackles. It follows George as he becomes a reporter for the BBC for Africa, and through this, he tak ...more
Sabrine Mahammed
i love this book when i was in year 11 i red this book and i love it its great stroy book
Garvan
Jun 25, 2015 Garvan rated it it was amazing
Bought this book in a charity shop. Wonderful book. Hugely entertaining and informative
Kim
Mar 21, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
wonderful book! so well-written, funny and erudite. It gives a wonderful overview of some of Africa's most harrowing histories. I was really impressed with the chapter on Mandela. There are no sacred cows and lots of villains in this book. Makes us all look at ourselves a little harder.
I gave it a 4 instead of 5 because I think he should have included a serious discussion on Kony and the LRA in his chapter on Uganda. Not sure why he chose not to (even though its mentioned later in the book).
Noel
Jun 22, 2008 Noel rated it it was amazing
Love this book! It takes you through Alagaiah's experiences as a child and later in his professional career. It's an interesting balance between his autobiography and the biography of Africa so to speak. I enjoyed his analysis of the continent's history and some of its famous and infamous leaders, though I'm not sure if I would agree with the glowing review of some of them. All the same, I was sucked in from the begining and hate the fact that I've finished it!
Laura ★☮☯
A really enjoyable read and difficult to put down! It was really interesting to learn about Africa's history and how Alagiah mixed fact with his personal and emotional experiences. I loved the way Alagiah writes with such a sophisticated dialogue. I would definitely recommend!
Clare
Jan 12, 2009 Clare rated it it was amazing
George Alagiah takes one on a tour of the areas of the continent he covered while at the BBC, interwoven with biographical detail and his personal impressions of the time and place. This is a wonderful book, and an accessible introduction to African studies.
Alice
Now that I'm a resident of Africa myself, there's more to disagree with in this book. Still, I felt like I learned a lot about the continent and the writing was engaging.
Luke Williams
Apr 26, 2011 Luke Williams rated it it was amazing
Every sentence is exciting and informative. A must read for anyone interested in Africa
Greg/kelly
Jan 21, 2008 Greg/kelly rated it it was amazing
different stories of a journalist in troubled africa
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