The author Angèle Kingué creates a fictional story of how the young woman’s resilience impacted the lives of many others in a positive way.
What would you do if both hands of yours were dismembered from your body? What would you do if that impairment was intentionally inflicted on you by the one you vowed to spend the rest of your life with - your spouse?
What if those closest to you at this trying moment in your life were kind-of like you and struggling to recover from a past filled with bitterness, sorrow and not-too-good decisions they wish were never made? What would become of you? And what if amid all these mishaps, you are just another African woman, living in a typical African society?
These are some of the questions a Cameroonian housewife inadvertently injected into the mind of a US-based Cameroonian varsity lecturer and author, Professor Angele Kinge, leading her to write the awe-inspiring, astonishing, yet, hilarious novel, “Venus of Khala-Kanti,” published in 2005 in French.
The translated English version was published in 2015. Venus of Khala-Kanti is set in a fictional country in West Africa. Inspired by a Cameroonian newspaper report of a woman whose husband cut off her arms because she failed to tether their goat, the author, unable to quit imagining what became of the woman, creates the imaginary village and characters to tell a fictional story of how the young woman’s resilience impacted the lives of many others in a positive way.
The author who in her university work in the US, epitomizes an image of a true African; teaching citizens how to write about Africa (and I’d add, to illustrate Africa from an objective perspective, portraying the boom and not just the gloom), picks three major characters to tell the story.
Three women, Bella, Assumta and Clarrisse, a retired prostitute. In a bid to pick up the pieces of their somewhat shattered lives, they go beyond self and create a Good Hope Centre which later on plays a vital role in restoration and growth of villagers, equally serving as a physical and spiritual sanctuary for downtrodden visitors.