Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

This is a book about the searching for one’s identity that has the feel of a coming to age story, despite the fact that the protagonist already has a grown daughter herself, giving it a unique and memorable air. 

Sankofa follows the story of Anna after the death of her white British mother and her own divorce. Whilst sorting through the things her mother has left behind Anna finds diaries of the man who soon turns out to be her father and goes on a journey looking for him. Her father turns out to be the president of a fictional West African country called Bamana. 

Anna confronts her father for being a corrupt dictator and his response is that the people he rules over would not have respect for him if he did not have wealth and in this way he attempts to justify his corruption. This had us reflecting on who is seen as fit for leadership and what kind of characteristics people expect their leaders to embody. Reflecting on this it comes almost as an ‘obvious surprise’ that wealth is something that is always associated with leadership.