Paula Gooder is a theologian for whom I have a lot of time. She rarely imposes any viewpoint on you but always peels off layers that obscure varying views, simplifying complex thoughts and reveals biblical truths in the most lucid manner.
21. Highlife Giants: West African Dance Pioneers
Growing up in the Niger Delta meant that I was surrounded by highlife sound as it was a definitive sound during my growing up years. The sound that has come to be known as Highlife originated in Ghana and was at its peak between the 50s and 80s.
20. Endings and Beginnings
This is Redi Tlhabi’s debut work that was published in 2012. She followed this up with the very well received and critically acclaimed Khwezi in 2017.
I have two standing rules when it comes to books – I never leave a book unfinished (I have left only one book unfinished, and that is a story for another day as it taught me a genre I am unsuited for), secondly, I don’t care how highly rated a book is or highly acclaimed its author is, as long as I bought the book with my money, I am never weary of being contrarian in my view of that book.
18. The Undoing Project
Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky were the first rock stars of Behavourial Economics. This book traces the history of their very special relationship that changed the face of the subject.
17. Citizen Coke
This is a very good read that chronicles the history of Coke from its early days as an imitation of a wine called Vin Mariani (a concoction of Bordeaux wine mixed with cocaine) in 1886 to its position as the world’s most valuable brand in 2012.
16. The Day the Revolution Began
The cross; a despicable and shame-filled symbol has been transformed to a symbol of victory according to a historical figure who he and his followers say is God. The cross itself stands at the centre of the Christian message, the Christian story and the Christian life.
This is a very crazy book. If this was written by a writer of lesser esteem than Rob Smyth, I would have dismissed it as fiction. I have heard tales about Kaiser in dispatches, but nothing prepared me for the industrial-scale grift I encountered in this book.
14. Double Yoke
This is a decent one from Buchi Emecheta. This book is not as good as the likes of In the Ditch and Kehinde or even The New Tribe, but it is decent enough. It is a short and simple novel that explores the complex issues around modern and traditional roles and expectations in relationships.
13. Black Widow Society
I remember reading Angela Makholwa’s debut novel Red Ink a few years back. While that book had a more believable plot and a better description of the settings (one that made the streets of Jozi and Pretoria come alive), this one has more memorable characters, and the crime is better interwoven while the suspense therein is more inventive.