I am, probably, the least likely person to read this book out of Tarryn and I. I always figured that I would be reading non-fiction books while sitting on my veranda at the spritely age of 85 during my retirement – a very juvenile notion. I will also admit that I am the first to opt fiction over non-fiction! However, this one can be made the proverbial exception to the rule.
I finally placed Peter Godwin’s The Fear back on to my bookshelf yesterday afternoon; I was white-faced and the pit at the bottom of my stomach lurched as I thought of the torture victims I had, only 30 minutes before, encountered. I placed the book in its alphabetical place on my bulging bookshelf and had the intense urge to start building a Zimbabwean relief centre in my back garden (Another juvenile thought). I wanted to blow my vuvuzela down the street and rally all my neighbours to start a mini Kempton Park revolution against these horrid crimes and to somehow regain the dignity of these tortured people.
Peter Godwin, a writing gem to the African Journalism Genre, whips you about on this 4X4, uneven road, 3rd world, eye-opening, heat-ridden, and flinching non-fiction rollercoaster journey through Zimbabwe’s nail-biting elections that has finally brought a tyrant to his knees. Though, Zimbabweans can smell freedom, Robert Mugabe won’t go down without a fight. The Fear is what people have dubbed this pogrom of torture and discipline – a way to turn the vote to favour Robert Mugabe.
I haven’t gasped and cringed at TRUE writing before, because we live in Africa and anything is possible. The Fear by Peter Godwin left me outraged, sympathetic, saddened, weepy, unmoved, thought provoked, jolted, separated, grateful and just plain sick to my stomach towards each case all at one time. I placed this book on the shelf and hugged my Dad, my Mother and had sugared tea with my Gran. This book forces you to look at the world in a new and eye-opening way. This happened right “next door” without any media covering this!
A book not for the faint hearted but something you as, not only an African, but as a Human being should read. A book that confirms that power makes monsters of men (By men I am not be gender specific).
- Review by Kelly Ansara