Set in post-Apartheid South Africa, this is the moving story of a young uneducated lad who witnesses his school mate, Zakes, attempt suicide. A series of events which includes selling his father’s gun to Zake’s brother sees him witness his family be killed. The two boys, along with the dog Shaka, flee the scene to find Zakes’ grandparents in Mpumalanga. Inspector Nuts, tasked with searching for the young fugitives, ends up finding the lad pointing a gun at his head. Having won his trust, the Inspector is eventually able to bring the case to a close after a few twists and turns.
Shaka becommed my friend when Zakes tried to commit sewerage pipe there by school. Our adventures beginned when Theresa Dern did of charf it were me what did of throwed her with a ball but it weren’t not me, it were Petrus Buthelezi.
Listen to a sample
“Samson’s quirky sense of humour shines through in this colloqually written book. Best to start off reading it aloud…”
You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a book about Shaka, King of the Zulu, but as you’ve guessed from this introductory sentence, it’s not.
Shaka is a dog who befriends two young boys in post-Apartheid South Africa, one black and one white. All have a preference for peanut-butter sandwiches. The book opens with Zakes attempting suicide, referred to as ‘sewerage pipe’. This leads to a series of events including the young narrator witnessing the killing of his family. The two boys and Shaka flee the scene and head to Mpumalanga trying to find Zakes’ grandparents. Along the way they encounter various characters, quarrel and behave as only youngsters with street-wisdom can.
This is a story of survival and hope, challenging stereotypes commonly found in and about South Africa. The challenge of the book is in its style. The young narrator writes as he speaks.