African Me & Satellite TV is a contemporary novel set in Africa in the post Apartheid/ post dictatorship years of Zimbabwe. Suzette Hertzog is a white Afrikaan wife of Herman, together they live on an agricultural estate. Suzette is well aware of the gaps between the white and black people around her. Princess Sithole is the family cook and housekeeper, Christopher is their black gardener. Many of their friends are white couples linked to the estate and the local area. However they do have black friends too, Justine and David easily fit their group.
Suzette is an artist, but she stopped painting when she fully opened her eyes to the pain, anger and suffering of the African people. She chose not to see it, but her guilt sent her into depression, until she decided to take it no more.
The pivotal point came in the form of Peter and Alison Sherman, new estate employees who represented the worst of the white man in Africa with their racist views and actions. When Suzette chose to speak out about the unfair treatment of blacks, the Sherman’s tried to ridicule her, but the support she had from the rest of the community was moving.
Sadly the Sherman’s took retaliation to extremes and more than one person suffered from the consequences, whilst it brought others together in a show of strength.
This is a slow paced read, dealing with a moving subject matter, the last third of the book involves many entries from the diaries of Christopher the gardener and although interesting to a point, the large chunks of diary writing changed the flow of the book for me.
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