Exciting news about If I Retreat, Shoot Me
As the two main characters in Dave’s first novel, If I Retreat, Shoot Me, were Afrikaans-speaking youths, it seemed appropriate to have the book translated into Afrikaans. This has been done, and the new version, As Ek Omdraai, Skiet My, should be available in all South African bookstores by 1 September 2019.
They were Colonials
Dave Baker was born and raised in the capital of the Transkei, Mthatha, only about 30 kilometres from the birthplace of Nelson Mandela. Appalled by the fact that most politicians, educationists and journalists have persisted in either ignoring, or denigrating. the enormous contribution made by the early Christian missionaries in the field of formal education, he highlights the huge significance of these contributions, debunking the idea that the form of colonialism he experienced in the Transkei can in any way be equated with the horrors Apartheid. In doing so, he points out that Nelson Mandela and many of the original leaders of the independence movements in Africa received most of their education from Christian missionaries, including icons such as Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and Robert Mugabe. Drawing on his personal recollections and impressions, Baker also describes his youthful fascination as he watched student teams from ten or so of the larger mission stations competing at athletics meeting on the Recreation Ground in Mthatha, a no-go area for black people during the Apartheid era – and how several years later he and two classmates debated, somewhat unsuccessfully, against a team of students at St. John’s College, on the outskirts of Mthatha. The author also describes the significant benefits many of the white traders brought to the Xhosa people of the Transkei, before being kicked out by the Apartheid Government prior to so-called ‘independence’. . In his conclusion, he suggests that the anti-colonial-era brigade opens its mind to the true facts about the colonial era in South Africa in general, and focusses on rectifying the enormous problems currently being experienced in South Africa, especially the endemic corruption, by-passing of the rule of law, and persisting racism. Baker is hoping to publish his book by June 2019. Watch this space!