Monday, April 8, 2013
OF CHIEFS AND GIANTS
VOLUME II OF A RIVER THAT IS CONGO
Authored by Paul J. Stam
Kusala should have been chief. He was the firstborn and many in the tribe knew it. He and Kitomolo were born on the same day but of different mothers. Because Chief Ronzozo knew that it will be hard to establish exactly which of his sons was born first, he decided that the one who became a man first in the traditional way of killing a leopard, would be chief after him.
On the day of the hunt they both throw at the same time, but Kitomolo, knowing he is not as good as his brother, damages his spear and then has his friends say that they saw Kusala tampering with Kitomolo's weapon during the night. Kitomolo is named chief to be because of his cunning and guile, not his ability and skill.
Harry VanVeldt and some others missionaries are the first white in that part of the Congo. Kusala goes to them expecting that he will be able to use them to help him get his birthright, but instead they use him to learn the language and get established.
About the author:
The author, Paul J. Stam, was born in the northeast corner of the Belgian Congo where he grew up listening to the accounts of the old timers some of whom were the first whites in that part of Africa. Just before the end of World War II, when he was 15, Paul came to the United States with his parent.
After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard a destroyer during the Korean War. His tour of duty completed, Paul attended the University of Minnesota and later joined the staff. Among other things Paul has been a foundry worker, salesman, university teacher and administrator and sailboat skipper. Paul is now retired and lives in Hawaii.
Paul is also the author of A River That Is Congo: Of Rulers and Ruled published by All Things That Matter Press and available as a Kindle, Nook and audiobook.