Book Review – Shakespeare In Swahililand

by Edward Wilson-Lee (William Collins) ISBN: 9780008146214

Shakespeare In Swahililand in a non-fiction book that sets out to explore the unexpected journey of how Shakespeare’s works travelled all the way from England into the expanses of Africa.

The Bard’s influence is traced from Victorian expeditions to plays performed by liberated Indian Slaves on the Ugandan Railway. Shakespeare in Swahililand shows how art bridges even the most complicated, diplomatic divide. It was fascinating to read about early performances of Shakespeare’s plays on make-shift stages in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethopia.

What was more intriguing to see what how some of the works like Othello, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet helped shape revolutions.

Shakespeare In Swahililand gives us a glimpse into a past that was filled the appreciation of well-written words. It was a place where quoting from a literary work was common-place and established your credentials in a matter of seconds.

This is one book Modern History buffs will really enjoy.

Merissa Himraj

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Posted on: 6th August 2017