DIKELEDI: CHILD OF TEARS, NO MORE
BY ACHMAT DANGOR (PICADOR AFRICA) R175*
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, if you’re a woman named Dikeledi and born in Harlem. In an attempt to understand the complex history of her father’s family and country, Dikeledi Tau, an investigative journalist, reconstructs four generations of the Tau family – using fragments of material left by her father.
It’s set in the turbulent ’80s and ’90s in apartheid South Africa and focused on one family’s daily struggles. As Dikeledi starts untangling the stories, she uncovers a crime syndicate and is attacked by gunmen looking for info. Her aunt, also named Dikeledi, is shot trying to rescue her. In a conversation after she’s shot, Aunt Dikeledi tries to get her niece to go back to Harlem.
It might’ve been just another apartheid story, but it’s set apart by the focus on family, identity and challenges through the perspective of women.