Stories from Botswana

A while back, Appa pappa ( who else?) showed me a book with a strange title: “No.1 Ladies Detective Agency”. Intrigued, I started reading it. I never imagined I would be hooked onto a story set in Botswana, about a lady detective – Mma Ramotswe – I dont even know how to say the Mma part, but i do know its the equivalent of Madam. Mma Ramotswe – the Botswana equivalent of Miss Marple – simple, with “Traditional” views – running the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the only detective agency in whole of Botswana. And running it with all the commonsense and wordly wisdom one can imagine. What I loved about that book was the simplicity of the narrative and the storytelling, and the interweaving of Mma Ramotswe’s personal and professional life.

So yesterday I picked up another of the series – called The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. Alexander McCall Smith has not let me down so far – his characters, the lead detective, her assistant, her husband Mr. JLB Maketoni – all these are so real and believable. I can substitute each of them with a person I know! He’s really managed to bring Botswana to the readers, while keeping his characters so real that you can “see” them.

Keep it up, Mma Ramotswe!

Update to this post -thanks to lostonthestreet . Go here if you are interested in knowing how to say “Mma” or Madam in Setswana ( the language of Botswana).

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One thought on “Stories from Botswana

  1. lostonthestreet July 1, 2008 / 6:17 pm

    I remember reading the first book,but didn’t really like it. And now I don’t remember why .I don’t remember the story either.Maybe I need to read it again..
    to pronounce Mma
    http://www.goway.com/africa/botswana/bots_arrival.html
    got this :
    here are soundclips of various phrases in Setswana at http://www.gov.bw/tourism/culture_and_his/language.html including “Dumela, mma” and “Dumela, rra” (which is “Hello” to a woman and a man respectively). There “Mma” sounds like “map” without the “p” — ie, the “a” is very short.

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