Sincerae's Reviews > Serowe, Village of the Rain Wind

Serowe, Village of the Rain Wind by Bessie Head
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's review
Feb 02, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: african-writers-series, african-writers, african-history

Serowe in the southern African nation of Botswana has been called Africa's most famous village because it is the home of one of Africa's most renown and honorable kings (chief) Khama III (the Great) (1837?-1923) of the Bamangwato people. He was a reformer, a converted extremely devout Christian, and a man determined to protect his land and people from the colonialists. Ian Khama who is the current president of Botswana is the great grandson of Khama III. Serowe is the capital of the Bamangwato. Bessie Head, the author of Serowe, Village of the Rain Wind, who was an exile from South Africa made Serowe her home. She is also one of Africa's most famous and respected writers. I've also visited Serowe briefly on a weekend back in the early 1990s when I was teaching in Botswana through Peace Corps. Today Serowe is no longer a village, but a town.

Serowe, Village of the Rain Wind is Bessie Head's celebration of her adopted village. It is a mixture of the history of the Bamangwato and their king Khama the Great, his successors, and interviews of various citizens of the village, some who are very old and others who are middle aged or in their 30s. Batswana and even a few European and white South African inhabitants of the village are interviewed. This book presents a picture of what the old history and customs of their community were like up to the time that Bessie Head wrote her book.

At the end of the book Head includes a brief history of Botswana and Southern Africa starting in the 1880s when the Western powers of Great Britain and Germany along with the Afrikaner (Boers) settlers started to attempt to carve up, settle, and exploit the land, working diligently to steal it from the native peoples.

I like and recommend this book. As in all of Bessie Head's works whether fiction or non-fiction the writing is quietly elegant.

Video of Serowe, a drive through the town (July 2013):

A very short video of the life of Khama III (the Great):
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Reading Progress

October 7, 2011 – Shelved
December 17, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 30, 2016 – Started Reading
December 30, 2016 –
page 8
December 31, 2016 –
page 37
January 2, 2017 –
page 58
January 2, 2017 –
page 58
January 8, 2017 –
page 75
January 20, 2017 –
page 88
January 24, 2017 –
page 117
January 26, 2017 –
page 140
January 31, 2017 –
page 188
January 31, 2017 –
page 188
February 2, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: african-writers-series
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: african-writers
February 16, 2017 – Shelved as: african-history

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