In Africa, Childhoods Can Be Snatched in an Instant

What unfolds when a chubby kid from a charmed background becomes the reluctant revolutionary his country so desperately needs

President-For-Life-Until-Further-Notice Field Marshal Brewman knows he cannot hold on to power for much longer.

Stirring up a civil war against the muslims in the North certainly bought him a bit more time, but now too many mothers are demanding to know why they must lose their husbands and sons to a cause they don't believe in. Having built a nation on fear, he, himself is terrified. He has a whole army of personal bodyguards and military police are everywhere, keeping civilians afraid. But when he demands boys are conscripted, the schools and the youngsters turn against him. 

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Dr Nat Tanoh is a Ghanaian who grew up as a child in exile in London. He has been actively involved in social movements to help the lives of every day Africans for many years. So much truth springs from the pages of his debut novel it is impossible not to draw similarities with many flashpoints in Africa such as Zimbabwe, Togo and The Congo.

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Even the most laid back pacifists have a tipping point


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What Readers Are Saying


An entertainingly good read... Could this be a thinly disguised semi-autobiographical tale of the African author’s own coming of age? The voice is genuine, and will appeal to the young at heart.

Prof Donna Pankhurst

Amazon Review


The pure-hearted hero Saga, is a hero both in life and in love. He is an example to be emulated everywhere! The Day of the Orphan is a thoroughly enjoyable read which I heartily recommend

Cudjoe Morgan
Africa Awake Society


A very interesting book with diverse outlooks on the challenges of life as a youngster under a military dictatorship in Africa - nostalgic and very good food for thought. A well composed and exciting addition to contemporary African fiction.

Samuel Ofori-Sey
Change Management Specialist

Read an Extract

After the quasi-formal welcome, the headmaster and form master hastily stood aside, moving backwards towards the blackboard so the Deputy Minister could take over by posing his questions directly to the students as part of his verification process. The bodyguards also placed themselves at the two front corners of the classroom behind the Minister, and commenced an inexplicable process of touching their earpieces with equally inexplicable regularity. 

Mr Com, who now had the floor, asked if anyone would volunteer to go first, and a still very annoyed Saga impulsively raised his hand before any of the others could. The New Patriotism issue was indeed a very sore point with Saga. He was still plagued with guilt that he had not been present to defend his bosom friend, Ibrahim, when he was beaten up badly by New Patriotism fanatics who happened to be students in their own school. Subconsciously, it was as though he thus felt the urge to be the one to face any New Patriotism ‘onslaught’ from officialdom within their school. As to how he would deflect such an onslaught, he had absolutely no idea. It was a subconsciously inspired impulsiveness so he simply had to wing it.

‘Well, well – I see we have an eager beaver in our midst,’ he smiled at Saga, who did not return the smile. The headmaster, and the form master, and all the five men and one woman who made up the Minister’s entourage, however, giggled rather obsequiously at this sally. They truly understood the meaning of grovelling to those on high. The Deputy Minister turned and rewarded them all with an openly condescending smile.

‘Okay mister serious young man, let’s start. So, tell me, who is your mother under our New Patriotism?’ Mr Com boomed out his question. 

Saga knew the answer he was to give and did so correctly. ‘My mother is the Great South Party of President Brewman!’

Mr Com was pleased. ‘Not bad, not bad,’ he said, and nodded happily towards the headmaster, who gave an equally satisfied beam in response.

‘And who is your father?’ Mr Com boomed yet again. 

Saga again answered correctly. ‘My father is the Great Leader of our nation, His Supreme Excellency and President-For-Life-Until-Further-Notice Field Marshal Brewman.’

Both Messrs Com and Money now beamed in unison. The entourage and form master were not far behind in this beaming effort.

‘Well done my boy, well done.’ Mr Com smiled a vastly complacent smile at Saga. 

‘Tell me, my bright, young friend – so what would you like to be when you grow up?’

This was far from being a question about future careers such as wanting to be a doctor or lawyer or pilot. Saga knew he should answer something along the lines of wanting to grow up to be a dedicated follower of the President or the Party. However, Saga inhaled and dropped his bombshell. ‘I would like to be an ORPHAN when I grow up,’ he said with utmost seriousness. 

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