Ali and Salma are Beja people, living in the hauntingly beautiful but harsh hills of the Red Sea region in the Horn of Africa. They belong to a tribe that time forgot, under siege by a Western culture that challenges the very core of their ancient tribal traditions and beliefs – including female circumcision, otherwise known as female genital mutilation. Enter David Stark, Zimbabwean doctor and Aid worker, caught up in a civil war and an unforeseen awakening of love that challenges his own values, faith and future. When traumatic events cast these three together, their intertwined stories are a moving microcosm of the search for universal human values in a conflicted and divided world. Drawn from first-hand experience of how love can bridge cultural chasms, this is a gripping and heartwarming tale of the triumph of the human spirit and the love of God
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You can listen to the Beja audiobook via one of the audiobook platforms listed below. See more about the audiobook narrators further down the page.
Please note that more audiobook platforms will be added as they become available.
Dr Ken Jenkins is a Zimbabwean doctor. He has worked for 40 years in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the Horn of Africa. He has worked extensively in Eritrea and Sudan with a special interest in AIDS education and counteracting the impact of Female Circumcision (FGM) and other harmful practices. Ken has a special interest in the Beja people.
Beja is his first book and combines a huge amount of autobiographical material within the framework of a novel. His faith is an integral part of his life story and is reflected in this narrative.
He is single and lives in Harare, Zimbabwe with a rich circle of friends. He has a passion for the wildlife of Zimbabwe and spends significant time in the bush, sometimes working with medical clinics in the National Parks.
CHIPO CHIKARA: Salma
Chipo Chikara is: a sidekick. A clown. And a bit of a diva.
Chipo loves performing. Throughout primary and high school, while other students excelled at various sports, Chipo’s competitive arena was Speech and Drama. Over the years she has been in various productions staged at Reps Theatre Upstairs, Reps Main Stage, Harare International School, The Studio and Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). She recently featured in BBC2’s Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan S2Ep1. She occasionally emcees and also does voice-over work.
Chipo is also known as “Miss Chi”- as she has the honour and privilege of being a drama teacher. She hopes to nurture creativity and confidence in her students through drama.
MICHAEL KUDAKWASHE: Ali and Abuzeinab
Michael is an actor, a comedian and voice over artist and all-round nice guy… when he is on his meds. He has been an artist for the past 20 years appearing on stage, TV, film and radio. You’ll often hear Michael’s dulcet tones soothing your ruffled feathers on Zimbabwean radio and informing your decisions in supermarkets! Many people will know him for his various roles in the TV satire Zambezi News TV, as well as his many roles on stage in Zimbabwe and internationally.
Michael has performed on international stages in Sweden and the UK with the satire comedy show Zambezi News, Norway and Germany with the play Water Games, USA with the play The History Boys, Kenya, Uganda and Hong Kong with the play A Man Like You and many many times over the border in South Africa with various plays and comedy shows.
Behind the scenes
RACHEL HITCHCOCK: Text editor
Rachel lives in the U.K in Cambridgeshire, after spending 17 years as an English teacher at Arundel school for girls, Zimbabwe, and subsequently teaching and tutoring in the U .K. and South Africa. She now tutors online. She has marked examinations at GCSE, As and A level for CIE, and edited numerous post-graduate theses. She has contributed to a number of English language pupils textbooks and teachers’ books, which are currently in use in South Africa, and has authored a series of Religious Education textbooks for junior schools which are currently in use in Zimbabwe and Malawi, published by Longman-Pearson (Africa).
DUNJA PANTIC: Cover Designer
If you’d like to find our more about Dunja, our super talented cover designer, please check out her website at thedunja.com. When she’s not designing book covers for Ken Jenkins, Petina Gappah and many others, she’s illustrating children’s books, or designing jewellery, or clothing, or accessories, or taking photographs from interesting angles, or inventing board games. She does lots of cool stuff! Check out her shop Kwamambokwadzi on Instagram @kwamambokadzi
Beja audiobook is FREE to listen to, and you are most welcome. However, if you would like to make a DONATION, you may do so via PayPal below.
BEJA AUDIOBOOK DONATION
If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here. If you would like to donate more than $10, simply increase the ‘quantity’ from ‘1’ to whatever you feel happy with. Thank you!
Beautifully written, beautifully narrated too!… Great vocabulary, direct sentences, beautiful similes and metaphors, nice pace! Loving it so far…chap 10.
(J.M. – USA)
Wow! So Impressive! So riveting!
(S.A. – Harare)
I’m loving your book. Thank you! Can I share with a friend?
(A.S. – Cape Town)
Ek geniet Dr Ken se boek verskriklik!!!!
(L.K. – South Africa)
I’m loving it. Rationing myself to a chapter a day … It is evocative, well read and well written … It is awakening all sorts of compelling memories of needs in Africa and the deep joy and fulfillment that can come from helping there.
(J.Q. – United Kingdom)
Loving every moment of it. So interesting, with bits of humour and so well written.
(C.N. – Ireland)
Particularly enjoyed descriptions of places visited, they appeared very real, I had such a clear picture, of what it would be like as David is wonderful storyteller! Interesting and very informative for me as a doctor to understand FGM and it’s long term mental and physical scars
(E.F. – Australia)
A gripping and enjoyable book with descriptive narrative that draws you right into the scene.
(J.P. – Zimbabwe)
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Pictures from North Africa
Here are a collection of pictures taken by the author from his many trips to North Africa…