Black Mamba Boy: Reading and discussion with Nadifa Mohamed

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

6.30 – 8.30 pm

Martin Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center

Free and open to the public


UPDATE: View the video of this event






Aden,1935; a city vibrant, alive, and full of hidden dangers. And home to Jama, a ten year-old boy. But then his mother dies unexpectedly and he finds himself alone in the world. Jama is forced home to his native Somalia, the land of his nomadic ancestors.
War is on the horizon and the fascist Italian forces who control parts of East Africa are preparing for battle. Yet Jama cannot rest until he discovers whether his father, who has been absent from his life since he was a baby, is alive somewhere.

And so begins an epic journey which will take Jama north through Djibouti, war-torn Eritrea and Sudan, to Egypt. And from there, aboard a ship transporting Jewish refugees just released from German concentration camp, across the seas to
Britain and freedom.

Black Mamba Boy, the story of one boy’s long walk to freedom, is also the story of how the Second World War affected Africa and its people, a story of displacement and family. It was longlisted for the 2010 Guardian First book Award.


About the Author:

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somalia in 1981 and was educated in the UK, studying History and Politics at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She lives in London.

Discussant: Peter Hitchcock , Associate Director, The Center for Place, Culture and Politics and author of The Long Space: Transnationalism and Postcolonial Form (Stanford University Press, 2010).

Books will be available for sale; signing to follow discussion.

Co-sponsored with Warscapes (

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