From the Foreword by Marian Wright Edelman:
Africa's Child is an unforgettable and searingly personal book....In the face of repeated obstacles and injustices, Nhambu continued to analyze the world around her with wit and a sharp sense of humor. Above all, as a very young child she decided one day that even if there was no other person in the world who loved and wanted her, she was going to love and care for herself--and that decision changed the course of her life.
Africa's Child is the story of a mixed-race girl growing up in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania, East Africa. Raised in an orphanage with no knowledge of her origins or family, she endured abandonment, hardships, severe illnesses, and bullying. Her experiences as a child and teenager included physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, social stigma, and racial discrimination.
Yet Nhambu tells her inspiring story with warmth and humor. Her questioning mind probes the African tribal realities and multi-cultural complexities that impacted her life both at the orphanage and schools run by German nuns as well as at an African high school with American nuns.
Nhambu not only survived her childhood but triumphed. Her faith and resilience, along with a belief in learning and her tenacious pursuit of an education, sustained her through many challenges. Dance, especially African tribal dance, became the way she healed and nourished her spirit.
Through the love and commitment of an American teacher she met in Africa, Nhambu was able to pursue her dream of education and a new life for herself. The first book in her three-part memoir ends as she is leaving Africa for university studies in America on a full scholarship.
Maria Nhambu is the creator of Aerobics With Soul(R), a fitness workout based on African dance. Web site: MariaNhambu.com