Charity Mupanga is the widowed owner of Harrods International Bar (and Nightspot), a favourite meeting place for the movers and shakers of Kibera. While she can handle most challenges, from an erratic supply of Worcestershire sauce, the secret ingredient in her cooking, to the political tensions in East Africa's most notorious slum and a cholera outbreak that follows the freak floods in the state of Ubuntu, some threatening letters from London lawyers are beginning to overwhelm her. Well-meant but inept efforts to foil the lawyers by Edward Furniver, a former fund manager who runs Kibera's co-operative bank and who seeks Charity's hand in marriage, bring Harrods International Bar to the brink of disaster, and Charity close to despair. In the nick of time an accidental riot, triggered by the visit to the slum of World Bank President Hardwick Hardwicke, coupled with some quick thinking by Titus Ntoto, the 14-year-old leader of Kibera's toughest gang, the Mboya Boys United Football Club, help Charity - and Harrods - to triumph in the end.
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Michael Holman grew up in Zimbabwe and was educated in Africa and England. After university he was forced to flee Zimbabwe for Zambia, where he lived for many years. He was Africa Editor of the FINANCIAL TIMES from 1984-2002, and is now a writer and journalist based in London.From AudioFile:
African drumbeats leave you in no doubt of the setting. THIS Harrods is a bar-restaurant in a mythical East-African country; THAT Harrods threatens to sue over the name. Owner Charity is determined that her business will survive. What follows is a fictional stew of the continent's ongoing problems--disease, corruption, violence--treated somewhat tongue in cheek. Jerome Pride gets the satiric tone just right as he mines the treasure trove of characters--officious visiting Brits, resident Japanese, local government leaders, and juvenile gang members. Early on, Charity's father explains, in an infectious lilt, that he got the name "Harrods" from a discarded shopping bag because Brit employers couldn't pronounce local monikers. Narrator Jerome Pride has no trouble, though. An edgy but delightful listen. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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