Crying For Afronia (Vol 1)
“The Truth Will Out,” Shakespeare's, The Merchant of Venice
For Jacob, moving to Afronia means opportunity and love, but a terrorist attack could signal the end of everything he has worked so hard to achieve.
A handful of politically connected elite families control Afronia, but for many, and especially rural villagers, the future holds nothing but poverty and despair. President Solomon’s authoritarian administration has been mired in corruption, cronyism, nepotism since riding roughshod over parliament. He has removed all checks and balances to his power and is neither accountable nor transparent in how he rules.
Jacob comes to Afronia as a business consultant and falls head over heels in love with a work colleague. Thinking he has finally found peace in his life, his new world is suddenly shattered by the Independence Day terrorist attack which kills hundreds and sends the country into turmoil. Seeking the truth behind the attack, Jacob discovers more about the way Afronia works than he ever wanted, and what he learns could lead the country on the road to civil war.
Crying for Afronia is a story of power, greed, love, betrayal and the quest to uncover the truth.
Escape From Afronia (Vol 2)
“A dead goat doesn’t fear the butcher’s knife” – Afronian proverb
In Crying for Afronia, the perfect storm of poverty, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, greed and idealism culminated in the Lesotho Street attack. In the epoch-defining, The Truth Behind the Lies report, Life President Altimus Solomon and General Hamza Leso are exposed as the masterminds behind the atrocity. With such a deficiency in leadership, something had to break and a military coup ensued.
With hope for decent living standards for the majority seemingly further away than ever, a new saying becomes popular in the cafés of Umoja City: “Without hope there is no life; in Afronia there is no hope”.
The journalists who uncovered the truth behind the Lesotho Street attack, now follow the lives of ordinary citizens who, reaching their breaking-point, make the life-changing decision to become refugees. They follow the migrants through the blistering Sahara Desert, across the Mediterranean Sea in flimsy dinghies and walk over mountain passes to Western Europe.
Escape from Afronia, is the story of desperate refugees who are searching for freedom, dignity, peace and most importantly of all, hope.
Dying For Afronia (Vol 3)
One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter
In Escape from Afronia, the country was moving steadily towards becoming a failed state. Many were forced to take the unimaginable risk of migrating to Europe in their quest to find peace, dignity, and most important of all hope. They leave behind an Afronia where public speech is absent, the media muzzled, civil society and the judiciary defunct, and the security forces a law unto themselves. In response, terrorists are increasing their attacks and the army, secret police and Counter Terrorist Unit, responding evermore forcibly.
Afronia is reaching the point of no return. President Solomon is practicing scapegoat politics, intimidating, manipulating and arresting political opponents; his only agenda, personal survival. In a last unexpected gambit, the President disbands the regime that has kept him in power for twenty-six years and calls for multi-party presidential elections.
Dying for Afronia is the story of election rigging, exiles returning, the dark arts of international espionage and, friends witnessing Afronia descend into civil war with hope after hell there will be a bright future.
Afronia Rising (Vol 4)
“If you want to go fast, ride a horse; if you want to carry a heavy load, take a donkey.”
Families torn apart by civil war in Dying for Afronia wake to a new dawn under the charismatic leadership of Sheila Solomon, the former first daughter. She declares: natural resources are the assets of the people.
For the first time in many a year there is hope in the air. Afronians wait with bated breath for the economy to be rejuvenated and become a hub for technological innovation. They pray their country will become a regional beacon of good governance, that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be convened, that Islamic State in Sub-Sahara will be driven out and, Isaiah George, the vote-rigging, money-laundering, civil war-inducing former president brought to justice.
However, the regeneration of Afronia is not a smooth affair, the country watched intently by individuals, corporates and nations who want access to the natural resources and will play any dirty trick to get them.
Afronia Rising watches the people who have suffered so much believe that a bright future is finally possible.
Developing Afronia (Vol 5)
“You lay foundations first but not without a plan.” Afronian proverb
Having survived civil war, Islamic State in Sub-Sahara, the sickening revelations during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a devastating drought, Afronia is finally rising. The future under the charismatic leadership of Walter Blaise who picked a cabinet of experts in their respective fields looks hopeful, citizens able to confidently look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
The president needs international and local support as he walks the political, cultural, and economic tightrope to develop Afronia. The country is attacked from all angles on this journey by individuals, governments, and global business leaders who try to stifle the resurgence of the Second Federal Democratic Republic to monopolize Afronia’s natural resources rather than them being for the benefit of the population who have suffered for so long.
Developing Afronia follows the regeneration of the country as it fends off existential challenges that threaten the very essence of the nation state.
Anthropology - The scientific study of humans
Jules’s favourite song was Paperback Writer, not just because it was by The Beatles, but because he genuinely wanted to be an author, a novelist. However, he’d never progressed past the first thirty-seven pages of his tour de force . . . he hadn’t even completed a short story he was proud of.
After another day of feckless lounging around followed by a massive bender, he woke in familiar territory: hung-over and confused. He was befuddled, his bloodshot eyes not able to decipher the unintelligible scrawl on his bedside table.
Post shower, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, and cuppa, Jules, resolves on this cold and frosty London morning, Today I will breakthrough my creative writing wall. For ten hours he writes his criminal masterpiece in a hipster coffee lounge, where Lucy, an anthropologist student and waitress proves to be his muse, she and the café’s customers unknowingly incorporated into his whodunit.
Paperback Writer is a story of creativity, love, laughter, angst and all the things that make the world go round.
18 Reflections and 3 statements of relief
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin, Theory of Evolution.
Life is all about risks and rewards, I considered neck deep in sand and the tide fast approaching, an assassin sitting five metres away and thoroughly enjoying the taste of my Cuban cigar.
I reflected on 18 pivotal moments from the last 15 years of my life as the sweet aroma of Havana’s finest stogie wafted by on the sea breeze. I contemplated my imminent demise, which, truth be told, was entirely of my own making. I had clearly bitten off more than I could chew, my love affair with the continent of Africa seemingly about to conclude by execution.
This is my story.
7 Days In A Week (Vol 1)
7 Days in 1 Week - arbitrary parcels of time that split the enormity of time into navigable chunks.
Neither boomer nor hipster millennial, I’m Generation X, the soon to be few who remember a black and white analogue past. Discussions of my youth, Blur or Oasis? My cultural influences during my formative years, Loaded magazine and Underworld’s Born Slippy.
I’m an ordinary person and this is one week in my life. I’ll discuss all my social, cultural and sexual peccadillos. My relationships with alcohol, women, drugs, children, friends, family and the drudgery of work. I’m going to reveal all my ups and downs, loves and losses, dreams and insecurities, successes and most likely failures. I will share all the shit that goes through my head through prose, poem and pictures as I consider how the world is changing technologically, economically, politically, ecologically and spiritually.
This upcoming week I expect will be mainly bad, unquestionably, predominately ugly but hopefully there will be a little good.
52 Weeks In A Year (Vol 2)
12 months - arbitrary parcels of time that split the enormity of a year into navigable chunks.
I’m only older by a week… but hopefully a lot wiser. Last week, my best mate died and I found salvation in Grace, a stripper at my local pub. We’re at Heathrow Airport and about to fly to Tanzania, this being where my blindfolded finger of destiny landed in an atlas.
I’m diving into the deep end and will roll with the flow… plus other puns. What my future holds, only my atheist ass can guess but it must be better than being a human chatbot. With Grace by my side, my love of 24 hours, I have confidence that anything is possible even if at times I’m sure to feel like a hippopotamus on a trampoline attempting to solve the Rubik's Cube of life.
As I pass through the next 52 weeks, I’ll once again give it to you like it is through prose, poems and pictures.
This is going to be one year in my life. I expect it will be mainly bad, unquestionably, predominately ugly but hopefully there will be a little good.
10 Years In a Decade (Vol 3)
10 years in a decade - arbitrary parcels of time that split the enormity of time into navigable chunks.
I’m back! You’ve known me for 53 weeks of my life and now I’m going to give you a whole decade. Grey hairs are spreading across my increasingly paunchy body and I’m collecting spare tires around my waist as if they were going out of fashion.
Who the hell knows what’s going to happen tomorrow let alone as I move from my 40’s - as a virile man living in Malawi and in love with my North Star - to my early 50’s? Nevertheless, I promise you one thing, I’ll share every detail of my life and the world’s ups and downs as I progress along my life path one muddle at a time.
This is a decade in my life. I expect it will be mainly bad, unquestionably, predominately ugly, but hopefully, there will be a little good.