During Week 2 of SYNC, thanks to Brilliance Publishing and ECW Press, audiobook listeners from around the world can experience both mythology and realism from two different places on the African continent.
Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o’s chronicle of the origin story of the Gikuyu people, PERFECT NINE, comes to listeners through the cultural sensitivity of narrator Benjamin A. Onyango, a Kenyan-American actor who has appeared in a variety of films. The author, whose surname is Ngũgĩ, tells myths of the two mothers who gave life to 10 Gikuyu clans in accounts that provide Onyango with opportunities to bring SYNC participants battles with ogres, love stories, and more to challenge the characters.
If you consider yourself well read in young adult literature, prepare to expand your horizons with an internationally acclaimed author whom you may be meeting for the first time. The Earphones Award-winning realistic novel THIS BOOK BETRAYS MY BROTHER, written by African Canadian author Kagiso Lesego Molope and performed by South African storyteller and actor Jacqui Du Toit, features vivid characters who speak a range of South African languages, all of which Du Toit handles easily. Listening to the story of a young girl’s realization that her adored older brother is capable of a crime that changes her understanding of him allows those who read with their ears to become absorbed in the humor, suspense, and sadness of an award-winning novel where sight reading might throw up barriers with its peppering of words unfamiliar to many English speakers.
Week 2’s audiobooks will be available until 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 11, so be sure to take this double opportunity to discover African stories in African voices before the clock strikes on Week 2.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o photo by Daniel Anderson), Kagiso Lesego Molope photo by Angela Gordon, Jacqui Du Toit photo courtesy of the narrator