The writer Nasrin Siege was born in Iran in 1950. When she was nine years old she moved, with her family, to Germany. There she studied in Kiel and met her husband who is a developmentworker. Since 1983 they have lived in several African countries, Zambia being one of them. Nasrin has written several books and this book on Sombo was her first.

Sombo is a young girl who lives in Zambia.We follow her in her everyday life. She goes to school and there she meets white people, a docter and a missionary. She thinks about further education or would it be better just to stay in her own village?

Sombo knowns that her father has been hunting elephants eventhough this has been forbidden by the government. The local gamekeeper comes to the village to look for the remains of the elephant but the people have hidden everything.

Sombo grows from girl to woman and she undergoes the local rites to affirm that she has become a woman. The new traditions of school are being mixed with the rite de passage. School during the week and in the weekends the girls go of for their preparation for adulthood. After this she will stay with her granny, who does not approve of Sombo’s going to school. The local teacher intervenes and talks with Sombo’s parents.

At the end of the book there is some information on Zambia and about the ethnic group Sombo belongs to, the Luvale.

Nasrin Siege – Sombo, das Mädchen vom Fluss – Weinheim, Germany, 1990


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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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