The Duchess of Muanenguba————————Samira Edi
You may have missed it, the merciless brutalization of a Hollywood actress by Africans, or did you not? Well, in the fell clutch of circumstance, something else seismic and peculiarly putrid also happened. In a week when unspeakable barbarity broke into the “vagaries” of our complacency, shattering its vacant nothingness into a red hot midst of apocalyptic concerns, the matter raised here may seem just a tad mild in dimension.
But even as black lives around the world come to the execrable conclusion that their skin colour could very well be an invitation to their death—even when innocent babies are un-spared the indiscriminate wrath of the terrorist’s fury—even as law-enforcement come under the same scourge of vengeful predation in the spirit of shared experiences with "criminals"——this case poignantly evokes the same emotional awe, deserving of its own place as any one of those “celebrated” atrocities.
In every sinew and crevice, it resonates like any other hard-hitting tale told about Africa—and African victimhood. This time however, the carnage was inflicted by Africans as the full force of their savagery was unleashed on a white woman. You may have heard it in the news, but for those who didn’t, here's a recap.
Aid Workers, Expats, and Western Volunteers do incredible good for poor, remote African countries. These people bring incalculable hope to a people whose only luxury may sometimes be their dreams—often deferred— and aspirations; usually robbed— as they wallow in muddy ditches—their destinies swapped with an existential despair. Theirs is a dystopian inheritance; a bequest from the brutal reality of internecine warfare that never seem to cease on the continent. Power-hungry brutes turn pristine lives destitutes and bucolic hamlets into rivers of blood, as they pillage the villages and rape the residents.
At such a time, succour may carve a precarious path, delivered in the shape of the “Great White Saviour,”—a white volunteer, who makes the perilous journey, to carry the Might of Western Civilization into the dark side. The dark side is made up of some of the poorest communities in the world’s most remote and dystopian “slaughterhouses” akin to medieval times.
Occasionally, however, some of these Angels of Western generosity do come with a baggage, and they make an unfortunate faux pas.
Thus was the case here. When a selfless British Aid Volunteer; 18 year old Louise Linton abandoned the comforts and prestige of her privileged life in Edinburgh, she travelled for miles into the thick jungle in darkest Africa. Her presence graced the remote village of Nsumbu in Zambia. Her experiences followed a familiar trajectory. She had taken a gap year to teach the English language under the idyllic settings of a Mukusi tree, and bringing just a little splash of light and Western civilization to those poor, AIDS and HIV orphans, who were at the time also labouring under the hellish cosh of a bloody civil war. It was 1999.
What Louise Linton had not counted on, was the severity and the reality of the primitive abode where she'll spend 6 unbearable months. Spiders the size of baby rats scurried about with terrifying impunity. Open sewers served as the communal latrine for the locals together with their animals. Wildlife in the form of big cats, especially lions prowled about, as they strolled from the jungle into the villages, baring fangs six inches long. Elephants ambled by casually, shaking the earth in a territorial dispute with terrified humans. Horrible African child savages attacked small, [albeit venomous] snakes, hacking such defenceless creatures to death— right in front of her horrified eyes! Louise was forced to endure the pangs of poverty that was etched on the face of her charge, a hungry little Zambian girl called Zimba, whose greatest happiness could be found in a bottle of coca-cola.
But worse was to come. As the civil war in Zambia raged around her, the militia razed the village where she was protecting the children, leaving them at the mercy of the elements.
Louise Linton "Angel-haired skinny muzungu In Zambia surrounded by "savages."
One day, the rebels arrived in the dead of the night and wreaked unbelievable havoc in the village. Louis shivered in fear as she huddled with the children—her only protection was a dense jungle foliage dripping with rain ontop of her —the scary sounds of the jungle making her teeth chatter. In a gesture of profound selflessness, Louise would even refused a chance to escape the nightmare, when a helicopter arrived to deliver mail. She couldn't bear the thought of leaving Zimba, the AIDS orphaned she cared for. When she finally had the courage to flee, Louise Linton will later cobble her memoire about how her idyllic gap year in Zambia turned to a nightmare in the jungle.
In one passage, she wrote:
“As the night ticked interminably by, I tried not to think what the rebels would do to the ‘skinny white muzungu with long angel hair’ if they found me. Clenching my jaw to stop my teeth chattering, I squeezed my eyes shut and reminded myself how I’d come to be a central character in this horror story.”
Apparently, as the inky blackness descended, marauding Hut/Tutsi rebels—red hot with the ruthless savagery of fresh slaughter from the Rwandan genocide, spilled over from the fringes of the Congo. The detritus of war were scattered generously all over Sumbu in Zambia like the Grim Reaper's confetti. The sounds of the ricocheting gunshots rented the air, while the machete wielding marauders fanned across the village like a sweeping, black carpet of death—APPARENTLY!
This familiar version of Africa is a cliché renowned the world over; of war, grinding poverty, corruption and disease. Africa sadly provides a ready-made narrative and diary that lends credibility to almost every stereotypical yarn chronicled about the continent, whether true or not!
Racist zealots seize this one-sided media story of Africa to craft and peddle fictional tales of Africa, with the percuniary zeal of a mercenary. They cash in on this sordid tale at the expense of the African plight.
Louise Linton was no exception. She too had arrived on the “dark continent,” with the absurd motif of the Empire-Strikes-Back. She lived one thing but presented an alternative reality to the world in her memoire. It has been exposed as monumental intellectual roguery, not unknown in literary circuits.
Today, highly educated—[she says,] PhD, she claims, "Hollywood actress", she's parades herself as— all very well for a middle class girl, now dating Steve Mnuchin; one of Donald Trump’s fundraisers.
The details of her memoire as Jungle Jane, imperilled by near-existential horror in the jungle have been denounced as a narration of pure fiction by a vile fantasist. This delusional, self-identified “skinny angel-haired Muzungu” is a first class fabricator and her book has been condemned worldwide as a tale of baffling mendadity with nothing but pages and pages of untruths and a complete non sequitur.
Chronologically analyzed, the Rwandan_genocide of 1994-1995 [100days war]; which provided the backdrop of her tale happened well before the woman ever set foot in Zambia. In fact, it was 5 years earlier and in a different country. [see map below]. Zambia was not involved in the Rwandan war at all, even in the Congo war. In fact, Zambia has never engaged in a civil war. Distortion of history is an absurd reality in fraudulent scholarship and Africa has been the victim of such ugly intellectual roguery.
When Louis Linton published her book, she placed herself on a pedestal. It went largely unacknowledged on Amazon, until she decided to craft an abridged version in one of Britain's right wing rags--the Telegraph.
Another thing about which Louise Linton had not counted was that among the “savage Zambians” could also be found a very lively and literate demography of people whose lives are completely different to the “ignorant savages,” she had painted in her book. An active militia of literary warriors picked up the scent marks of the liar when they read the Telegraph and they didn't like what they read. Zambians took to Twitter to inflicted, what could only best be describing as the brutal emasculation of a lying author through a baptism of fire.
Zambians exposed Louise Linton's lies--saying that the events she claimed had taken place in her book never did. They couln't even recognise their own country as she described it, from the distorted geography to the strange monsoon weather conditions.
They created a harsh hashtag #Lintonlies, on Twitter which quickly began trending with such ferocity that it spread right back to the people who remembered her time in the village. They too got involved to tell their own version of the events and set the records straight. Overnight, her condemnation was total. Even right-wing media like the Daily Mail UK profiled her caravan of lies in a merciless article that highlighted the twitter mockery.
Even worse than the barbarity she claimed to have endured in the fictional Zambian jungle, are the reviews of her book on Amazon where she has been slaughtered. Her nightmare has truly come to pass
Her savage brutalization in the hands of black Africans through a modium medium like Twitter, is the irony of sorts that eloquently contradicts her notions about the continent. Using the fine art of sartire is an indication of a new kind of militancy, or sporadic acts of violence through citizen journalism, by a people whose lore have always been told by others, and viewed through the distored prisms of Western pair of goggles. The brutal backlash has forced the woman to remove her controversial book from sale and apologized...apparently.
Change seem underway… or the victims are striking back.
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