(K. Brent Tomer),
Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival. By Jeffrey Gettleman. Harper; 336 pages; $27.99. To be published in Britain in June; £18.99.
“JUST remember, let’s not get too ‘ooga-booga’ out there.” So warned one of Jeffrey Gettleman’s bosses in 2006, shortly before he flew off to take over as east Africa bureau chief of the New York Times. When Mr Gettleman looked confused, the man patiently explained: “You know, the stereotypes, the platitudes, Africa as primitive and violent.” Soon after he got to Nairobi, a seasoned Africa hand sat Mr Gettleman down and over a long lunch offered his own advice. “Whatever you do, Jeff…don’t forget the ‘ooga-booga’. It’s what makes Africa Africa.”
The term “ooga-booga” sounds a little outlandish to anyone seriously covering Africa. But the dilemma facing Mr Gettleman—how to pique the…Continue reading