So I recently finished reading two books. One called Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa and another called The Fear. Both books are by the journalist and author Peter Godwin.
The first book is really a recounting of sorts of Mr. Godwin's life in Africa. He was raised in Africa in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. This book tells his tale of growing up through the beginnings and somewhat endings of civil war there, being a part of that civil war and the end of British rule in that country specifically. I really enjoyed this book. I loved the introspection and way that you felt how the author was truly torn on which side he belonged to at times and where his allegiance was. And you could feel the difficulty it seemed in decisions he made and places he found himself during the war. I specifically like how towards the end you find yourself realizing that war isn't always just a good side and a bad side, but that both sides generally feel they are right and maybe they are to a degree. It was a good book and well written and easy to get through.
After reading that, I was interested in a book by the same author titled The Fear. This book was truly heart wrenching. Peter Godwin returns to Zimbabwe right after Robert Mugabe the current president has lost an election. Instead of turning over power as one would think, he attacks his own people. They are living in fear and terror and poverty and disease. It is awful to think of the things that were and are happening to these people at the hands of their government. At one point while reading, I felt like I couldn't continue reading. I was too sad. I was sitting reading and crying for these people. Praying for God to change their circumstances and save them. In that moment, I realized I couldn't put the book down. These people are enduring beatings and rape and massacres basically for trying to stand up for change. I felt like I needed to finish reading this book to bear witness. It isn't a book written by James Patterson that is fictional; it is real life. This is happening in another country to human beings. These are horrible things being done with complete disregard to age or gender. They are crimes against humanity and I can't turn away from it. I finished reading the book and I am happy for it. I now know and wish I could do something. Peter Godwin has a website with information at www.petergodwin.com. I plan on continuing to pray for the people of Zimbabwe and to pray for positive change.
I am impressed by these books and by Peter Godwin. It took courage for him to go to Zimbabwe and put himself in the situations that he did. He interviewed others to help them and to let them have a name and have a voice. They aren't just faceless numbers, but people with husbands, wives, children, homes, careers, hopes and dreams. They deserve our attention.