Maria Nhambu’s memoir of growing up in an orphanage tucked remotely in the Usambara mountains of Tanzania is not for the faint of heart. She is not shy about sharing candid details of what she remembers from her childhood as a half-caste girl (a descendant of an African mother and a European father) with no parents to claim as her own.
Though the story was hard for me to read at times, it was also impossible for me to put down. I found it painful to read about the emotional, physical, and sexual abuses rained down on her and her contemporaries. Yet, Nhambu’s indomitable spirit and unwavering focus on her goal of getting an education makes hers one of the most uplifting books I have read in a long time.
Though Nhambu now has over seventy years of experience in this world and has earned every bit of wisdom she possesses, the child self she shares with her readers was one bearing a wisdom way beyond her years. Her story reflects her heart: rare, strong, lovable…compelling. Please read Nhambu’s memoir and if you feel, like I did, that Africa’s Child will forever be a part of you then perhaps this world will become a better place to live, one heart at a time.