Black Moses (Alain Mabanckou)

"When the whites came to Africa, we had the land and they had the Bible. They taught us to pray with closed eyes: when we opened them, the whites had the earth and we the Bible."

"When the whites came to Africa, we had the land and they had the Bible. They taught us to pray with closed eyes: when we opened them, the whites had the earth and we the Bible."

Congo/France / 2017

"It’s not easy being Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko. There’s that long name of his for a start, which means, “Let us thank God, the black Moses is born on the lands of the ancestors.” Most people just call him Moses. Then there’s the orphanage where he lives...where he’s terrorized by two fellow orphans—the twins Songi-Songi and Tala-Tala. But after Moses exacts revenge on the twins by lacing their food with hot pepper, the twins take Moses under their wing, escape the orphanage, and move to the bustling port town of Pointe-Noire, where they form a gang that survives on petty theft. What follows is a funny, moving, larger-than-life tale that chronicles Moses’s ultimately tragic journey through the Pointe-Noire underworld and the politically repressive reality of Congo-Brazzaville in the 1970s and ’80s." — The New Press