Winnie - Daughter of Azania

Young Adult - Action
198 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ajibulu is a teacher, writer, author and filmmaker. He has written three YA books and this book is his second published book after Johnny Famous Journey which was published in 2020. Some of his upcoming books include My Brother from Another Mother and The Xenophobic State.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Winnie - Daughter of Azania by Ade Ajibulu, Winnie has a deep connection to Azania, an impoverished community just outside Pretoria. Just like Nelson, her late, well-respected father, Azania and the people who reside there are entrenched deep in her soul. Azania is plagued not only with poverty and hardship but an epidemic of child abductions. Since Nelson’s death, Azania has been governed by Bra Jacob, a self-obsessed, shrewd politician who cares little for the community. Unlike Jacob who thrived on community tension and hatred, Winnie brought nothing but kindness and support to Azania. At only 8 years of age, the community admired and respected Winnie. However, when Winnie rescues a young White girl from a vicious attack, she experiences a different side to the people of Azania. Winnie refuses to give up on her people or leave the community. Shortly afterward, with her mother desperately ill, Winnie disappears. Alone and afraid, Winnie must decide whether she is willing to sacrifice herself to preserve the community she loves.

Winnie - Daughter of Azania by Ade Ajibulu is an incredibly moving story that will take you on a rollercoaster of different emotions. Winnie is an inspirational character who appreciates a person's kind heart and loving soul, not race, class, or gender. At such a young age, her intelligence and compassion are magnificent. There are some incredibly moving scenes between Winnie and Sharon, the girl she saved from certain death; theirs was a friendship that most people will sadly never experience. I also thought there were some beautiful, tender scenes between Winnie and her mother. The scene where Winnie received the letter from her mother was extremely emotional. I thought the character of Honourable Dagado was a horrifying villain, his actions were truly spine chilling. He lacked any remorse or empathy. The plot continually moves forward with amazing action, tension, and suspense. There are also some important lessons weaved cleverly throughout, such as compassion for others, courage to take action, and overcoming your fear to make a difference in the world. Ade also highlights the issues of White farmers and the ownership of land in South Africa from two different viewpoints which I found really insightful. A wonderful story that will warm your heart.

Ruffina Oserio

Winnie - Daughter of Azania by Ade Ajibulu is a brilliantly plotted, character-driven story that explores the courage of a young woman in saving her people. Sixteen-year-old Winnie is the sole daughter of the community’s legendary hero, Nelson Mapuka. Now, with Mapuka gone and her mother very ill, she must do something to save her mother. When Winnie sets out to find help, she gets entangled with professional kidnappers, Jacky and Kurt, who are on a sinister mission for Mayor Dagado. Winnie might be what the Mayor and his witch doctor need for their nefarious schemes. In a twist of fate, she finds herself thrust between the enemy and her community. How far can she go to save the people of Azania?

This is a well-plotted and skillfully written story with memorable characters. Winnie is an icon of patriotism and selfless love, and in a context where racism is rife, she becomes the beacon of hope for her people. This is a novel with strong historical hints that make allusions to the historical Winnie Mandela, the rock of Azania and Africa, with racial innuendos that arouse curiosity in readers. The writing is gorgeous, highly descriptive, and Ade Ajibulu has the gift of bringing alive complex emotions. The setting is strongly written and it allows readers a clear view of the social and political situations of the world in which Winnie morphs into an adorable heroine. Winnie - Daughter of Azania is an intensely moving story, told with a keen eye for detail and character depth. The story is suspenseful, brimming with raw emotion, and featuring a heroine that will captivate readers.

Grace Masso

Ade Ajibulu’s book is an engaging story with an unforgettable female protagonist who must rise above the challenges of the time to save both her mother who is sick and her oppressed community. Winnie goes out to find help for her sick mother and community but comes across two dangerous kidnappers. Jacky has worked for Honorable Dagado even before he became mayor. Tasked with an unusually dangerous mission, he seeks the help of Kurt van Derk, a strong partner in crime. Winnie happens to be exactly what the Mayor and his despicable witch doctor are looking for. Will Winnie be a sacrificial lamb that frees her people or will she be another wasted life? The twist is something I didn’t expect, and neither will you.

This is a mesmerizing story that explores dirty politics in Africa. The setting in South Africa is dazzlingly written, with shades of racism and a bedrock of power-mongering with strong repercussions. The locales are superbly written, the relationships explored with skill, allowing the characters to shine through the story. Winnie: Daughter of Azania is a powerful story and the twists are intelligently crafted. Most importantly, the novel explores the unscrupulous attitudes of men in power in Africa and how far they will go to grab power for personal gain. Ade Ajibulu provides a heroine that is elaborately developed and will win the hearts of readers, a young woman with a strong will and a vision inspired by her father, Nelson Mapuka. She is admired both by her mother, Mimi Maladji, a widowed retired social worker, and her community. When she is in dire straits, readers will be keen to find out about the choices she makes. This is a tale that is inspiring, featuring gorgeous prose, an engaging plot, and lovable characters.