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The Slope of Kongwa Hill by Tony Edwards


The Slope of Kongwa Hill




Based on the memoirs of Tony Edwards, this autobiographical novel picks up his story when, at age 9, as a result of his parents moving to East Africa, Tony finds himself boarding in Kongwa school.

The School was unique. Nowhere in Africa, or perhaps anywhere, was there a school that catered for up to 400 European school children, spread over 270 acres in constructions never intended for school use, in an arid outback region, with no towns or cities nearby.

Kongwa had been the central location for the post World War 2 British Government’s, three and a quarter million acre Groundnut Scheme. With its failure after five years, the abandoned village of tin roofed and white ant infested shacks, largely devoid of water-born sanitation and formerly known by the workers as dog kennels, was adopted by the Tanganyika legislature, to temporarily locate this

co-ed secondary school. It was temporary for ten years. 

Located in the arid and barren region just south of the Maasai Steppe where was to be found every manner of game, exotic bird life, insects and reptiles, Kongwa provided a harsh if adventure-filled location in which to live and learn. The story recalls the toughness, discipline, sometimes the brutality of British boarding school life, aggravated by the primitive location and its concurrence with the

ever-present danger from living in East Africa’s wilderness. Personal fights, house fights and beatings contrast with the excitement of animal and reptile confrontations, torrential storms, locust infestation and other adventures. Ordeals with snakes, running away, hunting for game for the school’s meat supply and a narrow escape with lionesses, Boy Scout real-world field training and an exotic romance during the central character’s coming-of-age, combine in a kaleidoscope of never to be repeated experiences.