The Hairdresser in Harare by Tendai Huchu

With my addictive nature coupled with the Tendai effortless skills, I throughly enjoyed it. My only problem with it, obviously being the way most characters hold the U.K. up as a kind of social ideal, I believes that Africa can still rise to greater heights, the hoisting of the U.K. nearly threw me off. Then again going through the first half of the book, which describes the worsening situation of ordinary Zimbabweans, one can imagine this line best describe first hand experience, “I felt an atmosphere of friendliness, violence, innovation, poverty and joy but the one thing that hung over everything else was despair; an air of hopelessness as if everyone was in a pit that they could not climb out of. I knew that feeling all too well. It’s like seeing a plane high up in the sky and knowing that you will never be on it.” a feeling that warrants the urge for an escape.

The use of Shona phrases added texture that made the novel read as if it wasn’t non-fiction. I also liked how Tendai introduced the central theme of prejudice (racism and homosexuality) and successfully bring the message across on what it does and it is real worth. My highlight being Fungai’s breakdown of homosexuality, had to read it three times and found myself nodding to it each time.Great book, great writer, great characterization. Absolutely great!!!

4/5 Stars

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