What are the models of success in Africa?
Ceridwen Dovey is a South African born novelist who now lives in New York. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Harvard in 2003, Dovey returned to South Africa to write a novel. Blood Kin, the result of that work, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim: the novel was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Informed by Dovey's South African roots, the novel tells the story of a fictional military coup from the perspective of the overthrown leader's portraitist, chef, and barber. Dovey is currently completing a PhD in Anthropology at New York University. Dovey doesn't see a conflict between her two passions. "Both anthropology and good fiction are full of thick description and a layering of detail," she says.
Question: What are the models of success in Africa?
Dovey: Botswana, I think, by many accounts has been very successful in terms of managing, for example, AIDS . . . HIV/AIDS. They sort of very early on __________ public acknowledgment of the disease and early public health measures ___________ and made it much more manageable. I mean the regions are just so different and so politically different that it’s . . . it’s almost impossible to say. But I’ll tell you ____________ West Africa certain countries there, you know, have . . . have, you know, a kind of richness of life that isn’t destroyed by a kind of political . . . absolute political corruption or ___________ leadership. I mean South Africa is complicated because on the one hand it’s like ___________ story of the continent. But on the other hand it has the highest rate of rape and murder in the world. It might be second after Iraq now in terms of the highest number of violent deaths, but it’s first or second. So I don’t know how you reconcile that picture of success story with the kind of realities that people live with day-to-day.
Recorded on: 12/6/07
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