Born in 1949 in Kinshasa, Zepherin Ebonzo holds degrees from the University Cheik Anta Diop, (Dakar University), University of Louvain (Belgium), and New York University (USA). For 23 years until 2003, he worked for AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Agere Systems in the areas of systems analysis, programming, database management, internal auditing, and international finance. Since then, he’s been a consultant in systems analysis and financial management for various clients, including AT&T International Network Operations, UN/FAO Iraq Mission in Amman Jordan, Stainless Integrated Fabricators, Integrated Ticketing and Billing Systems, and FEDEX Network Operations. He currently lives in Forks Township/Easton in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. In this interview, he talks about becoming a writer and what inspired his most recent book.
How and where did you get the idea for your book?
The book is dedicated to my two grandchildren, Mayelle and Mateo, whom I really crazy about. When my daughter told me that she was expecting my first grandchild in the middle of 2008, I started to think about coming up with something to leave my grandchildren. After a lot of soul searching, I decided to write a book that would explain to them where I came from and all the pains and challenges that countries in that part of the world confront in terms of political, social and economic development. I chose to fictionalize the account of what I wanted to convey. The book is entitled Kany Rising , and took me four months to write.
Can you tell us a little more about the book?
Kany Rising is an international drama describing the challenges and conflicts afflicting an obscure and poor African country after the discovery of ‘kany’ – a mineral with extraordinary qualities. Powerful political and business forces vie for complete and unrestricted access to the mining site. The major conflict is between these forces and those, who want to use the mineral bounties to lift the country out of its abject poverty.
Where can readers find the book?
Kany Rising can be purchased online through www.amazon.com , www.barnesandnoble.com and www.trafford.com. Soon, it will be available in local libraries too. Readers can also go directly to the book website.
Is this your first book?
Yes, this is my first published book. I intend to write two more installments around Kany, ‘The Curse of Kany’ and ‘Kany Generation’.
Who are your favorite writers?
Sedar Senghor, Alan Paton, Calixthe Beyala, Chinua Achebe, Zadie Smith, Khalid Hosseini, Edwidge Dandicat, John Le Carre, Graham Greene.
What’s your favorite book by an African author?
Calixthe Beyala’s Le petit prince de Belleville is a book I highly recommend.