Literary Zone

New Novel Preserves Fading African Culture

26 April 2007 at 21:53 | 616 views

Before the footmen of the modern world sliced through the thick jungles of Africa, it flourished unspoiled. However, since imperialism has stripped much of the old ways, many cultures have been nearly lost. Michael F. Kallon(photo) revisits the Kissi tribe and its ways in a revealing new novel, Idols with Tears (now available through AuthorHouse).

According to Kallon, the Kissi people were tribes that populated the areas of West Africa that are known today as Sierra Leone, Liberia and French-Guinea. His book takes place before the arrival of the foreigners who brought Christianity and Islam in tow. Set deep in the jungles of Sierra Leone, the novel tells the tale of Tamba Kolloh and his love for the late chief priest’s daughter, Kumba Mongor. When the ghost of Nyuma Mongor mysteriously chooses Tamba to be the next chief priest of the village of Yilandu, he must bear the immense responsibility without losing his love.

His ardent love for Kumba becomes the talk of the village as they organize separate societies for both the boys and girls. They also carry out the rituals of their forbearers and launch a witch hunt to stop the mysterious witches that have been embarking on hellish killing sprees. As Tamba accepts and excels at his responsibilities, Kallon uses the opportunity to detail the sophistication of the Kissi people and preserve their ways by chronicling their rituals and traditions.

An insightful novel that offers Americans an introduction to the Kissi people, Idols with Tears unveils the mysteries that surround the misunderstood continent and explains the depth of their sophistication.

Born in Koindu, a prominent business center in the Kissi Chiefdom located in Eastern Sierra Leone, Kallon was educated at Christian schools in Sierra Leone and Liberia. He sought further education in America. He graduated as a private investigator from the Detective Training Institute in California and earned a degree in creative writing and literature from Burlington College. He also worked as a freelance writer. Kallon has lived in New York since he escaped the human slaughter that plagued Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1980s and 90s. Idols with Tears is his first novel.