Kahlil Gibran on Children….


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From the Classroom: Seamus Heaney.

Seamus Heaney

Had the privilege of teaching Seamus Heaney’s seminal poem “Mid-Term Break” in my early years in the profession. However really got to know and appreciate the great man’s work when teaching the Advanced Higher class over the last 3 years. Heaney is a genius. Plain and simple, with his poems providing insight on family, nature, culture and identity. However, I was particulalrly drawn to his perspective on “The Troubles”, a period in Northern Irish history of political and religious strife characterised by violence, suspicion and animosity. Amongst my favourite Heaney poems are “Funeral Rites”, “The Ministry of Fear”, “Casualty” and “Personal Helicon”. Rest in Peace Chief!


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A “Mos Def” Read: Mongo Beti’s “Mission to Kala”.


Beti is perhaps Africa’s most underrated writer! “Mission to Kala” is a great coming of age novel which is often compared to Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”, particulalrly as it also examines teenage angst, disillusionment and a search for identity. I studied “Mission to Kala” during my first year in university as part of a Black Literature course. The novel made for some memorable tutorial sessions! Check out link below for some more insight!




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Donald is a Scottish writer who grew up in South Africa. Set in the same country, “Choke Chain” examines the disintegration of a family unit, whilst highlighting timeless issues such as responsibility, adolescence, manhood and identity. Jason Donald visited my school in 2010 to talk to senior pupils about writing in general, and the creative influences behind “Choke Chain”. A fab debut novel! Strongly recommend….

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J.M. Coetzee’s novel “Disgrace” adapted for the screen.

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Just Dabbling

You see it in their eyes and hear it in voices: sympathy mostly, but at times trepidation. We are kept in the dormitory which has crisp white sheets and curtains festooned with pictures of women carrying baskets on their head. A regular meal is also a bonus, often provided by the juddering lady who smells like Chinese Tiger balm. The balm they knead into our skin when we get injured playing football in the yard. We also watch television in the big hall, mostly men hurtling around green fields with plenty more men shouting and singing and swaying. They all wear the same colours and seem happy. Our yard games do not have the same intensity and colour.
But there was colour in the forest. Red mostly. We became men who marched, ran, jumped and shot. The shooting is important especially now. People like the tales of shooting. Continue reading

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A “Mos Def” Read: “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Set during the Nigerian-Biafran war, “Half of a Yellow Sun” examines complex relationships and the effects of conflict. Soon to be made into a Hollywood movie, which is very encouraging. The novel is Adichie’s best in my opinion, and definitely worth reading! Stellar!

Soon to be adapted for the big screen starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor! Check out trailer.

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Manasque (Behind the Scenes)

Manasque (Behind the Scenes)

The name is Foday Mannah and I grew up in Sierra Leone, West Africa where I studied English Language and Literature. I currently work in Scotland, as a teacher of English. Manasque seeks to celebrate African Literature and its related spheres. Within this framework, issues surrounding race, gender, politics, culture and conflict shall be examined. In this respect, my wee blog intends focusing on two main areas: the local African experience and an examination of relationships within “The Diaspora”. “The Diaspora” component should hopefully focus on issues including immigration and identity. African literature is often marginalised and neglected and we consider it necessary to promote existing publications, whilst also seeking to produce original material. We are open and would whole-heartedly appreciate comments, analyses, evaluations, suggestions and contributions. Have a nice day and thanks for dropping in! You are appreciated!

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A “Mos Def” Read: “A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi Wa Thiongo

Brilliant. Stylistically the complete novel in my opinion with Ngugi making excellent use of time and multiple perspectives. An insightful examination of the complex relationships surrounding colonialism and independence. Strongly recommend.

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A “Mos Def” Read: “Efuru” by Flora Nwapa

I Studied “Efuru” in 5th year for my Ordinary Level exams. “Efuru” is moving and revealing with the eponymous character one of the greatest in African Literature. A great narrative which examines culture, gender, anguish and identity.

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