Book of the Month: Fool’s Gold
Author: Marko Phiri
Publisher: Bahati Books
Format: Kindle E-Book
Page Numbers: 36
‘Fool’s Gold’ is a collection of three short stories, each located in different parts of Zimbabwe, which illustrates the circumstances of various characters resulting in the tragedies that follow. Whilst reading, the theme of secrecy and death was apparent in all three books; both themes either become interlaced in the lives of certain characters, or one theme resulting in the second.
An intriguing aspect in all three books was the embedding of the context of Zimbabwe. The ‘Location’ of the markets, a named by the colonial whites, which is now nicknamed ‘Elokitshini’, meaning ‘at the township’ in isiZulu. Another historical fact which I found interesting that was included was that Ian Smith had declared Rhodesia an independent state from Zimbabwe in 1965. Additionally, aspects of the various languages in Zimbabwe was included in the dialogue, allowing me to become fully engaged in not only the location but the region of each story.
The first short story takes the same title of the actual book. ‘Fool’s Gold’ tells the story of an illegal alliance, in Harambe, with a Zimbabwean Minister and a Chinese associate resulting in catastrophic consequences for the parties involved.
The second short story, ‘A Woman Named Tabitha’, illustrates the tribulations a young mother, living in Tshabala, faces due to her severe poverty.
The final short story, ‘Mr Azzizz’s Last Wish’, depicts the growing relationship of an Indian and Malawian immigrant in Rhodesia – a state which is currently equivalent in territorial terms to Zimbabwe.
I would recommend this book to readers who are looking for a quick read in which the context of the location can be understood throughout the narrative, instead of in explicit details of the different parts of Zimbabwe. However, it isn’t a book that I would rush to read again, due to the lack of complexity in the three plots. Of course, I should not expect much from short stories.
If you have any recommendations for us to read, then let us know! Comment below, and we’ll check it out!
Check out our previous month’s here