review WATERS OF THE SANJAN

The writer David Read was born in 1921 (or around that time) in Nairobi, a town that was struggling to get on its feet. His mother moved out of town with little David to run a hotel in the midst of Maasai territory. So, no wonder, David got to know his Maasai agemates and their culture.

In this books he follows the tracks of Dangoya, a small Maasai boy who had a difficult start in life. We see him grow up against all odds, we learn about Maasai society, how the morans deal with one another, how the old men deal with the younger ones.

David Read pays a lot of attention to the sexual life of the warriors. There is little fidelity in marriage. The warriors, even when married, keep on returning to their sweethearts of their younger days.  

Through hardship Dangoya becomes a leader, always willing to follow new ways. He is annoyed by the laziness of the other warriors, who prefer to let others do the work, preferably even the work of fighting. 

He hears messages about a new tribe that is entering Maasai territory. He wants to know more about that. In this way he gets into contact with the tribe of Germans and the tribe of English. He witnesses the birth of the town of Arusha. We are at the brink of the outbrak of the Great War, that even was fought on East African soil. 

David Read (and Pamela Chapman) – Waters of the Sanjan – 1982

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semper

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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