Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

The Last of the White Ants

Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

The Last of the White Ants

Article excerpt

The Last of the White Ants, by Pattie Pink. Oxford: Trafford Publishing, 2006, 206 pp. ISBN 1-4120-5515-6. £12.50

The Last of the White Ants is a good read for the money. It will surely be enjoyed by all ex-colonial civil servants, whether from Malawi or elsewhere in the one time Empire. And as an interesting and readable novel, the general reader should not miss it.

The "White Ants" is the author's name for the expatriate civil servants in preand post-colonial Nyasaland / Malawi, and is a fictional account of their life and work. The story starts in January 1955, when the hero, Sinclair Brown, sails for the Cape in a Union Castle liner, and ends in 1992, about two years before Dr Banda's final retirement as President. Some of the amusing incidents recorded may have been exaggerated for the sake of amusing the reader: this is not important because there is a useful four page appendix outlining the history of the country and the life of its first president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda as well as an adequate map. The photographs are very good for a publication of this nature.

The foreword is written by Professor Colin Baker and gives a useful account of the author whose full name is Patricia Shelagh Pink. (Her very small image may be detected in the photograph on page 59. …

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