Born in London, England in 1942, TONY EDWARDS spent many formative years in Africa and was drawn to return in 1962 after completing his college education.
He has worked in photography, television, advertising and anthropological research, living in Rhodesia, Zambia, South Africa, Britain, USA and Canada. In 2004, Tony and his wife, Imelda, settled on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada.
"This book evokes the feelings of young school kids in an absolutely unique situation at a time of great worldwide change. The happy and not-so-happy times are faithfully remembered and the setting of the great plains of central Tanganyika (Tanzania) in an era before television, cell phones, reliable electricity supply or decent transport, makes for a book that one cannot put down."
— Graeme Berry (an alumnus of that place and times), United Kingdom
"Brilliant! Having lived in Africa for 40 years, during and after colonial rule, I avidly search bookshops, now that I have returned to Britain, for books about life on that continent. There are many available, written by short term visitors to Kenya, South Africa, the Congo and elsewhere but they seldom convey what life was like for people living in these places during the past 60 years. Kongwa Hill, like "Africa House" by Christina Lamb, falls in to a very different category. The author experienced life as a schoolboy in East Africa, with many good times but also a lot of hardships. He describes a way of life that will never be repeated but is a part of history for every African Nation. Compared to the life of the average schoolboy in Manchester or Toronto in the 1950s, Kongwa probably will sound exciting, but with parents seen perhaps twice a year, no television, wild animals and life-threatening bugs in large numbers and, later, terrorism, life was not a bed of roses. Sadly, the number of people still alive to remember life in East and Central Africa during the early post-Second World War years are becoming fewer and fewer with each passing year but they, and anyone else with an interest in Africa, will find this an enthralling book."
— John Harrison, United Kingdom
"I was fourteen when I read this book, around the age the kids were in this story of boarding school days in Africa. I was amazed at the experience, jealous of the freedoms kids had then but scared for some of the dangers and violence too. Boy, much of it would be totally illegal today. It's a cool book which I think was intended for grown-ups, but pretty exciting for teens who are interested in boys (and girls) adventures in wildest Africa — wish I could have been there."
— Callum O'Neill, Vancouver Island, Canada
"Having been born and raised in East Africa, I related to the author's memories and descriptions of life. The songs of the birds and the sounds of the bush that are unique; the colours, the dryness, the vastness, the native people and their amazing history, all came flooding back. Like the author, once you have sampled living in Africa, you never really leave it behind. A good read and highly recommended for anyone with a taste for Africa."
— Fiona Firth, Australia
"Feels like I am there, a young boy growing up all over again — unexpected pleasure, joy and pain in a world completely new to me. Strange to feel the qualities of what it must have been like as a Brit in an African colonial setting — I love this book!"
— Ted Weir, Vancouver, Canada
"A wonderful account of not just the author's life in Tanganyika but an excellent record of the children growing up in a country where they had to go to a boarding school, lost in the bush and far from home. So close to my own experience, it brings my memories flooding back."
— Barbara Laing (an alumna of the place and times), United Kingdom
"The author captures a fascinating time in East African history. Travel with him into the richness and adventure of a boarding school in the wilds of late colonial Tanganyika — a great read."
— Elvin Letchford, Salt Spring Island, Canada
"An unusual British boarding school in the middle of nowhere, Africa, was brought to life for me by the author's memories and astute observations. What a remote and wild place to grow up!"
— Leona Bridges, Alberta, Canada
"It is the landscape that remains with me still … the heat, the sand, the isolation. And how a boy's experiences begin to reveal the hidden secrets of that vast and empty space."
— Heather Birnie, Alberta, Canada