When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head

“The philosophy of love and peace strangely overlooked who was in possession of the guns.”

Chapter 9

This is a rich book. It addresses many topics from war to colonialism; from racism to love; from white saviours to the power of the people. All of this is done in a simple story that mainly revolves around Makhaya, the ‘black dog’, a refugee from South Africa who finds peace in a small village of outsiders in Botswana called Golema Mmidi.

The people of Golema Mmidi in all their diversity have one thing in common. They have a power over their own lives, despite the material wealth they have or lack. This was a powerful message to be written in 1969 when the book was published and still is stays strong today where colonised people are not given much agency in deciding the trajectories of their lives.

Bessie Head is a brilliant writer who can effortlessly slash the ideologies of colonialism with her timeless story.