Book Reviews Fiction South Africa

How Angela Makholwa nearly derailed my Seychelles Carnival plans

Book: The Thirtieth Candle
Author: Angela Makholwa
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Fiction
Buy your own copy of The 30th Candle

I recently got an opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places on the planet; The Island archipelago that is the Seychelles Islands where I got to cover the International Carnival in that town. It was a beautiful experience I would not want to exchange with anyone. The Carnival in Victoria has quickly become one of the must attend events on the Indian Ocean calendar and I hope that I get to visit the venue again next year (shameless plug if you will forgive me).

The only thing that nearly ruined the whole thing was an experience I had at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort to the north of the island. On the Friday I woke up, had my breakfast and had a dip in the little pool on the hotel and even tested the coral reef filled ocean as I tested my swimming skill. It was pretty cool. The plan was to finish with the water and then head into town and do some sightseeing as it was the first time I was here.

After the swimming which was quite strenuous if you consider that I am pretty unfit I had to have a lie down which I did on the deck chair by the beach. I had a book which I had brought to possibly keep me busy called The 30th Candle by Angela Makholwa which I had been given months before by my significant other. The book starts with this girl Linda being caught bringing the beast with two backs to life with a gentleman and then her fiancé walks in on her and she is quite nonchalant. The gentleman then goes on to rail against her with his rant against Xhosa women sticking in my mind for some reason. That’s as far as I had gone the first time I tried reading this book and I started it afresh.

I don’t know how to explain what happened to me on that beach of the Kempinski Seychelles Resort that Friday. I couldn’t move. The book was a page turner that I could not seem to put down. It is about four urban South African women who are in their thirtieth year of thereabouts and the trials and tribulations that they go through. The thing about the writing is that is so fast paced and I kept saying to myself; “OK ill just finish this chapter and head off town (Downtown Victoria).”   It never seemed to happen.

For someone who wanted to leave at noon at the latest, I was the last person getting into the official media bus was heading into town at 5pm. Even then I was reading that bewitching book as I wondered whether Dikeledi would eventually give up the goods to the Ghanaian professor dude. On getting into town I was forced to stop reading it to “enjoy” the carnival. It’s really sad when a book can make watching the crazy girls from the Notting Hill carnival in their itsy bitsy little bikinis a chore that one needs to get over to get to the real thing. I eventually made it to 9pm where the media bus carted us off to the hotel and I could finish the book in peace. At this point in the book aforementioned hussy that is Linda turns out to be an integral part of the novel. She is a TV producer and is investigating a murder of a prostitute by some sex fiend and she is almost cracking the case. Eventually she does to the shock of all involved (If I tell you it will be mess you up) and I finished the book at just before midnight.

As I sat in my hotel room I felt the achievement of having been freed from the clutches of this author Angela Makholwa who with her writing made my break a nightmare of the highest order. Here my tip to you; if you ever find yourself in a space where you hold this 30th Candle book be very careful. If you need to do something very important; read for exams, prepare the defence for your client who is about to be in The Hague for genocide crimes, cook pasta this book may derail you in a major way. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

P.S. I went to Downtown Victoria on the next day and lemme tell you this Island rocks

Buy your own copy of The 30th Candle

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

3 replies on “How Angela Makholwa nearly derailed my Seychelles Carnival plans”

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