I, Kimathi Fezile Tito, do solemnly declare that I am a soldier of the South African revolution. I am a volunteer fighter, committed to the struggle for justice. I place myself in the service of the people, The Movement and its allies. I take up arms in response to the wishes of the masses. I promise to serve with discipline and dedication at all times, maintaining the integrity and solidarity of the people’s army. Should I violate any of these, I accept that I should be punished by all means, not excluding death. A tooth for a tooth; an eye for an eye; a life for a life.
13 August 1986, Angola
Kimathi Tito has it all. As a child of the revolution, born in exile in Tanzania, he has steadily accumulated wealth and influence since arriving in South Africa in 1991. But even though everything appears just peachy from outside the walls of his mansion in Bassonia, things are far from perfect for Comrade Kimathi. After a messy divorce, accelerated by his gambling habit and infidelities, he is in danger of losing everything.
With his company, Mandulo, struggling, Kimathi’s financial future hinges on landing a huge tender in the Soutspanberg – to provide coal for South Africa’s struggling power sector. But the ties that exile has woven are not always as strong as one might think, especially when there are millions of rands at stake. And now, to top it all, Kimathi’s seeing ghosts. Sometimes what happens in exile doesn’t stay in exile.
A caustic critique of South Africa’s political elite from the author of Dog Eat Dog and After Tears. In this, his third novel, Niq Mhlongo rips open the underbelly of tenderpreneurship in South Africa and exposes the war that has raged across the country between the exiles and inxiles since 1994. Not only does Way Back Home herald the coming of age of one of South Africa’s most important writers – The New York Times called him “one of the most high-spirited and irreverent new voices of South Africa’s post-apartheid literary scene” – it also points the way to a new era of South African literature, an era in which writers once again begin to engage with the political reality of a country at war with itself.