WRiters reviewing writers: the changing tides by michael mulilo.

Picture by Muzhinga Kankinda

The novel ‘The Changing tides’ is a book by Zambian writer, Michael Mulilo born in 1962 in Kitwe, Zambia.  The book’s manuscript was completed in October, 1987, but it was first published in 1998 by Winsome Publications, two years after Michael Mulilo’s death death in January, 1996 at the age of 34. The book has 297 pages in total.

The changing tides is a novel that highlights the social and political issues in contemporary Africa. The general fiction book’s set up in the period where African countries went through autocratic rule by their presidents, precisely the first three decades of independence after colonialism.

The novel is about a writer, Morris Konosi who has the privilege of studying in a Western country. He returns to his native land, Ziba-Zako and is alarmed by the levels of poverty and oppression in his country whose leader is ruthless yet wearing a cloak of humanitarianism to deceive the world.

In the bid to save his countrymen from living miserable and pathetic lives, Konosi wields his weapon-a pen and writes an article which was named the ‘Konosi Manifesto’. This Konosi Manifesto later led to a events mass uprisings, bloody confrontation and a civil war which changed the fate of his beloved country but all this came at the higher price including the arrest of Konosi himself and two others, and editor, Paul Swaya and his boss, the Editor in chief, Kapambwe Ngosa, the people responsible for publishing the article to the entire country.

The three are detained and tortured as they wait to be transferred to another prison without trial; and in the process Konosi loses his father who becomes a victim of an unjust massacre ordered by the cruel leader of the country.

Ngosa, who by the time is approaching his fifties, dies due to his inability to withstand the torture in prison while, Konosi and Swaya are rescued by mercenaries from the western countries. They are trained into soldiers and soon they return to their country to liberate their countrymen from the autocratic rule of their current president.

The book quotes Chinua Achebe’s 1988 writing that “An African creative writer who tries to avoid the big social and political issues of contemporary Africa will end up being completely irrelevant-like the absurd man in the proverb who leaves his burning house to pursue a fleeing rat.”

This quote indicates how Michael Mulilo, as a writer desired so greatly to disseminate information on the prevalent unjust social and political status of Africa as a continent. It was his desire to educate Africans and the world at large on the unfairness of some African leaders in the bid to bring about change to save the entire Africa. As such, his book is a must read for everyone because it is not only entertaining but informative and educating for all. This is why it is rated GE for general readership.

Are you interested in the changing tides novel? If yes, I am not surprised. The book itself is a good one; well written and highly imaginative for those who creates scenarios in their minds while reading. You can search for it on google books if you are interested in reading it.


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