Comment to 'Research - How far should we go?'
  • I once started reading a novel set in Africa that had been recommended to me and was on bestsellers list. I was looking forward to enjoying a good story set in a place I've never been but would love to visit. So the african setting was all the more important to me.

    Right on the opening chapter the author wrote that the characters were under an oak tree. An oak tree? In Africa? Impossible, oak trees would not survive there, they are native to northen climates with cold winters. I lost interest in the rest of the story. What else was incorrect?

    And yet a simple google search for "african trees" would produce a huge list. The name of a real african tree would give realism and interest to the setting. Not hard to do.

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    • image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=148&dpx=2&t=1593280277

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      • I love the Baobad tree... someone should write a poem about it!

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        • I think you'll find that there are many African folklore stories, You should find a picture when it is in full bloom. 

          There is a story behind this particular photograph. We had been attending a regional exchange of experience workshop concerning engaging and empowering communities based on the methodology I had developed in South Africa. I don't want to appear to be boasting, but the young woman in the photograph(from Soweto)  was my assistant at the time. She had absorbed with enthusiasm the work I was doing and, in reality, took over many of my responsibilities, especially during the two-weeks/month that I was in Europe. When she saw the tree, she asked me to take the photograph stating "Roger I want this photo. You have helped me grow so much'. She later left her safe job in Government to continue what I had started. We still remain in contact and follows the progress of my daughter (budding actress) and my son. 

          She had told me of her story, father in the military arm of the ANC, mother part of the "peaceful movement". More importantly, the use of traditional concoctions to main or kill. A character based on her plays a small part in my novel. 

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