Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Swaziland & Davis' Scared

It's not often one sees news about Swaziland, the small country nearly surrounded by gun-toting South Africa.

So what's new in the country with the lowest life expectancy in the world? Rampant corruption, unfortunately. Here's last month's Guardian article "Swaziland government sells maize donated by Japan and banks the cash:"
Swaziland's government has sold maize donated by the Japanese government to feed hungry Swazis for $3m (£2m) and deposited the money in the Central Bank of Swaziland. 
The nearly 12,000 tonnes of donated maize was sold by the ministry of economic planning and development in 2011, but the sale was not made public until an item about the transaction appeared in a performance report the ministry presented to the Swaziland parliament for review last week. 
Swaziland has not produced enough food to feed itself since the 1970s. It depends on international food aid to bridge a gap that varies from year to year, ranging from two-thirds of the country's 1.2 million people in 2007 to about one-tenth of the population this year, after a better than average rainfall, according to the World Food Programme.
For a book set in Swaziland, read Tom Davis' novel Scared:
Nonfiction author Davis makes his fiction debut with a story about two people worlds apart who help each other find redemption. An orphan girl in Swaziland endures her uncle's abuse through visions of "the illuminated man" who she believes will take her to her dead mother's side. When photographer Stuart Daniels discovers the girl near death, he enlists a pastor and a village chief to help her and her two siblings. Facing floods, confronting an aid agency's fraud, and absorbing a brutal attack by one of many desperate starving people may be the only path toward atonement for Stuart's past life.

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