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Unbury Our Dead with Song

Wa Ngugi, Mukoma
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
Published: March 2, 2021
ISBN: 9781911115984
Country of publication: United Kingdom


A love letter to music, beauty, and imagination.

In the seedy ABC boxing club in Nairobi, four musicians—The Diva, The Corporal, the Taliban Man, and Miriam—gather for a competition to see who can perform the best Tizita. Listening from the audience is Kenyan tabloid journalist John Thandi Manfredi, whose own life makes him vulnerable to the Tizita.

Desperate to learn more, he follows the musicians back to Ethiopia, hoping to learn the secret to the music from their personal lives and histories. His search takes him from the idyllic Ethiopian countryside to juke joints and raucous parties in Addis Ababa where he quickly learns that there is more to these performers than meets the eye. From the humble home life behind the Diva’s glamorous façade, to the troubling question of the Corporal’s military service history, Manfredi discovers that the many layers to this musical genre are reflected in the lives and secrets of its performers.

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