Considered by some to be Francophone Africa’s’ answer to the Chinua Achebe, the late Ivorian writer and political activist, Ahmadou Kourouma is easily one of Africa’s most celebrated authors. Born in 1927, in the Ivory Coast, Kourouma belonged to the Malinke ethnic group and was raised by an uncle. From 1950 to 1954, he served in the French army in Indochina, following which he moved to Lyon, France to study mathematics.
Ahmadou Kourouma, highly respected award winning Ivorian author, has created with “Allah is Not Obliged” a vivacious, often hilarious, but also disturbing and thought provoking novel. Published in 2000 in its original French, it was likely the first of fictionalized or factual accounts capturing the life of child soldiers in modern-day Africa. Written in the voice of a boy with less than three years of schooling, and with limited French, the author uses his protagonist to convey much more than the intimate reflections of one of the “small soldiers” and what the youth describes as his “miserable existence”.
Set in the city of Yopougon, Abouet’s Aya trilogy takes us back to a time when Cote D’Ivoire was a place of intriguing characters and a myriad of humourous experiences. We meet Aya, a 19-year-old teenager with a strong focus and personality, a mind of her own and great aspirations.