Evan Mantzaris – The Ndundulu Invasion

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mantzarispirates“I don’t know if this is part of your research, but since you ask, I’ll answer you very honestly. I’m a lot of things, son, I’m a Zulu and a Xhosa, a God and a Devil, I’m a valley and a mountain, a jungle and a desert, I’m the rain and the drought, but above everything else I am anamaZulu man.”
“Why, Mkhulu?”
“Because I was born in Zululand, I lived in Zululand and I’ll die in Zululand. I haven’t been to school, but I’ve been a cleaner in one place for 40 years. When I walk to the bottle store I touch the ground of the heroes and the ghosts, when I pick up a mango I touch the hand of God, when I jump the hill with my grandson I can see the deep valleys of Africa, and when I dream I am a warrior in Shaka’s army. I learned to speak and think here, I drank from the river of wisdom of my grandfather. I herded cattle here and I spoke to my ancestors hiding behind the clouds when they bring rain. That’s why I’m a Zulu, son.”
“Do you tell these things to your grandchildren?”

Evan Mantzaris’ The Ndundulu Invasion calls to mind certain moments from Brilliant Orange matches. Suddenly everything clicks. A move, a look. And then minutes of exceptionally beautiful gameplay. Insight, grace and elegance, and a foul if necessary.
A book is like a soccer match. One chapter shows the build-up, the strategy, while in the next you’re overwhelmed by a Van der Vaart move or a Bergkamp back heel volley. But then you run into Neeskens and you’re right back down to earth. And every now and then you lose track. You wonder where it’s going. The match demands an editor at those times.

The Ndundulu Invasion has all the trademarks of an extraordinary game from the Cruyff era. Insight, enthusiasm, commitment, a certain kind of laziness, chaotic, but with a clear goal.

It’s with pleasure that we publish this Great South African Novel online. Each chapter is followed by a link to the next.

Enjoy reading!
Chapter 1: Jesus Cristos (next post)

Evan Mantzaris’ blog http://evanmantzaris.wordpress.com/

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