The proud Republic of Liberia was founded in the 19th century with the triumphant return of the freed slaves from America to Africa. Once back ‘home’, however, these Americo-Liberians had to integrate with the resident tribes – who did not want or welcome them. Against a background of French and British colonialists busily carving up Mother Africa, while local tribes were still unashamedly trading in slaves . . . the vulnerable newcomers felt trapped and out of place. Where men should have stood shoulder to shoulder, they turned on each other instead.
LAND OF MY FATHERS plunges us into this world. But in the midst of turmoil, there is friendship. Edward Richard, a man born into slavery and a preacher by profession, is convinced that the future of Liberia lies in bringing peace amongst the tribes. His mission takes him to the far north, where he meets an extraordinary man, Halay. Edward’s new and dearest friend is ready to sacrifice his own life to protect his country; for the Liberians believe that with Halay’s death, no war will ever threaten their land. A century later, this belief is crushed when war engulfs the land, bearing away with it the descendants of both Edward and Halay.
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Vamba Sherif was born in Kolahun, Liberia in 1973. In his early teens he moved to Kuwait, where he completed secondary school. The First Gulf War compelled him to leave Kuwait and settle first in Damascus, Syria, and then in The Netherlands, where he read Law. Vamba is also a journalist and film critic. His passions include music of every kind, and film.