Lorraine's Reviews > The God Who Made Mistakes

The God Who Made Mistakes by Ekow Duker
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it was amazing

I am still winded. "The God Who Made Mistakes" knocked the wind out of my sails. Brilliant writing. So unexpectedly raw. Ekow does not mince his words. The subject matter is one which the black society is still grappling with. One which my peers talk openly about but to our parents, it is "Other people's things". Homosexuality.

Without giving anything away, the story revolves around Themba and Ayanda. A young married couple who educated and worked themselves out of the township. Their relationship is in disarray. Like an old scarf, it is unravelling. Themba finds companionship in his bookclub, where everyone is openly gay and lesbian, while Ayanda dances her woes away. Their story is supported by a handful of people with such normal characteristics that again, they feel like people I know. For me, two people felt like they anchored Themba and Ayanda's story. Differentia, Themba's mother and Samuels, Themba's old university buddy turned property developer. Their roles are so pivotal.

Ekow introduces Differentia very early in the story and she whispers "iSitabane" in young Themba'so ear but the connection to the main theme of the plot is only made later in the story. She is all over this story. Suffocating Themba's truth bit by bit. I think that Themba uses her to hide the truth of who he is. To run away from it, the truth. And to reaffirm to her that he is a "normal" heterosexual man who is married and can run a home. His relationship with his wife is a puzzle to him. He married her mos, what more does she want? Romance, to feel loved, to talk at the end of a long working day!! Themba is not about that. They have perfunctory sex. The speck of glue that keeps this marriage together. For how long though?

Themba is a conflicted young man who was raised ekasi thus understands unspoken rules with regards to gender. He is also a regular churchgoer but not very religious. His varsity experiences further add to his confusion when it comes to his sexuality. He keeps on declaring that he is not gay. He then says this to his pastor while he discusses his conundrum after a surprise visit from Samuels, " Gay is such a small and inadequate word, don't you think?". His wife, Ayanda, has been taking dance lessons for 2 years now and dances every chance she gets. Themba and Differentia, his mother, abhors this in her, amongst many things. The reason I am zooming in on Ayanda's dancing is because dance is a felt motion. When you dance, you are attuned to your body, mind, soul and sexuality. Things which I felt Themba was suppressing in himself and which his mother was trying to throttle out of him all his life. At the end if the book Differentia says to Themba, "You're my son. And that's all that matters to me".

Ekow wrote this book in a no holds barred manner that I couldn't but marvel at his authenticity in telling this story. The kasi slang "iSitabane" was laid bare. Showing the disdain through which gays and lesbians are treated in the townships. Horrors of unbelievable proportions are committed against them in a feeble attempt to "correct" them. It is a work of fiction, Ekow clearly stated at his launch, but truthful fiction. It is narrated in a genuine and sincere tone that I couldn't help but wonder out loud that "This is how our stories feel, sound, taste and look like". I am the sort of a reader who participates in the story. Like an invisible audience. I am there in all the pages moving with the characters. Growing or stunting with them. Their words are one with me. Their actions are mine. I knew Ekow's characters. I played in the streets with them. I remember a Themba. He was "...one of those boys who is like a girl". We played netball with him and he was a smashing player.

I am a perceptive reader. I can usual tell the who and the what of an author from the subject matter, the way the story is outlined and the narration. Ekow's writing has a global appeal. Themba and Ayanda could have been from Atlanta, Bristol, Hong Kong, Lilongwe, Bulawayo etc. I enjoyed reading this installment immensely and it was well researched.

Kudos Ekow. 5 glowing stars.

NB: Great cover. I could immediately tell some of your themes when I saw the cover.

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Reading Progress

October 7, 2016 – Shelved
October 7, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 24, 2016 – Started Reading
October 26, 2016 –
page 80
October 27, 2016 –
page 153
October 27, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess The Bookworm Great review, sounds fascinating!

message 2: by Ekow (new)

Ekow Duker Thank you Lorraine. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Bongani Bought it today and it's my weekend read.

message 4: by Lerato (new)

Lerato Mahloko Great review, as a Kasi girl it's a must that I read it.

Lorraine Thank you, all. J am reading his most recent, Yellowbone. Literally "Hot off the press...".

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