review HATARI

What came first?

The book or the film?

I do not know. Book and film probably were created in the early sixties of the last century.

The book tells a story about the northern part of Tanzania, around Arusha. A woman has inherited a soecial farm from her father when he died.  The speciality of this farm is the keeping of caught animals. These animals are destined for zoos in Europe and North America.

The woman, named Brandy, has also inherited the staff of her father. It is an international group of workers who enjoy the free life en enjoy catching animals like monkeys, rhinos, giraffes and just continue.

Always the farm is in dire need of cash. Hard work has to be done in order to get some money. One day an Italian fotographer enters the farm and her entrance has an effect on the men who work for Brandy and how they relate in their work and in their private affairs.

The characters in the book are a bit one dimensional. The workforce that is employed on the farm (next to the whites) are Kikuyu and I stumbled upon one Kalenjin. Not really the kind of people you would expect in Tanzania. The Swahili that is used in the dialogues is of a poor quality.

In the film made about this book (or just the other way around) we see people like John Wayne, Hardy Kruger and Elsa Martinelli. Pictures of the movie have been included in the book.

And ‘hatari’ means ‘danger’ in Swahili.

Michaël Milner – Hatari – 1962


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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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