houseboy Ferdinand Oyono begins his haunting tragedy at the end of a Cameroonian houseboy’s life. “Brother, what are we,” Toundi Onduo. Ferdinand Oyono has really done a great work with this fictional work. portrayed this in the life of Toundi when he has to be the houseboy of the Commander. Ferdinand Oyono crafts a novel about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist. In West Africa specifically.
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The theme of colonialism in reference to houseboy, novel by Ferdinand Oyono
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Houseboy by Ferdjnand Oyono. Toundi Ondoua, the rural African protagonist of Houseboy, encounters a world of prisms that cast beautiful but unobtainable glimmers, especially for a black youth in colonial Cameroon.
Houseboywritten in the form of Toundi’s captivating diary and translated from the original French, discloses his awe of the white world and a web of unpredictable experiences. Early on, he Toundi Ondoua, the rural African protagonist of Houseboy, encounters a world of prisms that cast beautiful but unobtainable glimmers, especially for a black youth in colonial Cameroon.
Early on, he escapes his father’s angry blows by seeking asylum with his benefactor, the local European priest who meets an untimely death. Toundi then becomes “the Chief Houzeboy ‘boy’–the dog of the King.
Houseboy – Ferdinand Oyono – Google Books
Gradually, preconceptions of the Europeans come crashing down on him as he struggles with his identity, his place in society, and the changing culture. Paperbackpages. Published August 15th by Heinemann Educational Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Houseboyplease sign up. See all 6 questions about Houseboy…. Lists with This Book. The book captured my attention in the beginning, but then lost my attention midway. Nov 28, Cheryl rated it it was amazing Shelves: I feel as if I’ve been in the presence of an underrated African classic.
Cameroonian novelist and diplomat, Oyono, was visiting Guinea during the time it was the colony Spanish Guineawhen he came across one of his countrymen. Later, he would be given the diary or exercise book of Toundi, a houseboy on the run.
He translated the book from its original language, Ewondo, stating that he “tried to keep the richness of the original language without letting it get in the way of the story itself. Although it is such a short read, there was so much descriptive language within the dialogue and narrative from Toundi, that you end up knowing so much in just a few pages.
Each of the many characters have specific roles to play. It is a tragic story about love, betrayal, and social injustice. Jul 17, Henry Ozogula rated it it was amazing. This novel, which was written decades ago is haunting and very powerful, evoking the colonial situation in black Africa in the past.
It is very funny and very sombre and sad at the same time. Toundi believes great vistas are opening up for him by being the houseboy of one of the white colonial administrators. The author brilliantly e This novel, which was written decades ago is haunting and very powerful, evoking the colonial situation in black Africa in the past. The author brilliantly explores the whole scenario, evoking the raw basic humanity in people across colours and race.
Here we have discrimination, prejudice, lust and infidelity; and the cruelty personified by the police and penal system. As Toundi revels more and more in the white man’s secrets, he seals his won doom in the process. For example Toundi is initially fascinated with the wife of his “master” more of this later but soon realises that apart from being a mere human too despite her white colour, she is actually worthless and sleeps around extravagantly.
Being aware of such a “secret” is of course dangerous though the irony is that it is no secret at all. When we see Toundi’s white master implying that the “boy” smells badly, it mirrors the sentiment of the black girl lover of a whiteman who complains about the smell of her white boyfriend!
Being white of course the lover boy is not too anxious to let the world know about his black girlfriend and does not trust her fidelity at all. In the end our narrator finds himself in an awkward situation though in no way culpable: There is a memorable passage in this work that reflects how much Toundi initially “worshipped” the whites; when he first meets the wife of his master and she awkwardly shakes his hand. A shudder ran through me at the touch of her hand Her look is as warm as a ray from the setting sun It rather encapsulates Toundi as his life hurtles towards implacable disaster Dec 10, Diane Brown rated it really liked it Shelves: A beautifully written book that tells a story that moves from one point to the other effortlessly with deep contextualization of imperial Cameroon and the African condition; mainly embedded in the dialogues.
It is an easy read that exposes the absurdities and brutalities of colonizers in Africa and the world Europeans created for themselves in Africa almost cocooned. It also shows the progression of the main character from being “in awe” of the colonizers, and at times feeling different to or A beautifully written book that tells a story that moves from one point to the other effortlessly with deep contextualization of imperial Cameroon and the African condition; mainly embedded in the dialogues.
It also shows the progression of the main character from being “in awe” of the colonizers, and at times feeling different to or separate from other Africans, to his journey of eye-opening and discovery through reflecting on the body language of his masters and the various incidents that occur that wake him up to the realities of how the African is really seen by the colonizeer I’m having a bit of a hard time rating this one. Toundi’s story is troubling but engaging.
The things that Toundi accepts as just a part of life as a black boy in Cameroon during this time period is sad and frustrating. The malice and pettiness that impacts Toundi’s daily life from a young age made me want to grind my teeth just reading the descriptions. The story is told well but the ending is pretty abrupt. There is more that I would have like to have gotten in order for the story to come full I’m having a bit of a hard time rating this one. There is more that I would have like to have gotten in order for the story to come full circle.
I kind of understand why it ended the way it did because Toundi was unable to continue the diary, but man I would like to have gotten the last leg of the journey for Toundi.
Yet, I am very glad to have read this story. Full review to come. Book 29 of the African Writer’s Series depicts the despotic, cruel treatment of native Cameroonians in French Cameroun, the former League of Nations’s mandate.
The perspective is that of Toundi. The book is in the form of a diary although the reading is fluid like a novel is. Toundi left home as soon as he could do so and a priest Father Gilbert sheltered him. Eventually, the solitary Commandant hires him as his Houseboy. The former is rough but eventually softens his attitude to Toundi and appr Book 29 of the African Writer’s Series depicts the despotic, cruel treatment of native Cameroonians in French Cameroun, the former League of Nations’s mandate.
The former is rough but eventually softens his attitude to Toundi and approves of him. After a long while, the Commandant’s beautiful wife arrives and settles in the house. Initially unbeknown to the Commandant, her secret tryst becomes the beginning of the end for Toundi. View all 3 comments.
Mar 07, Darkowaa rated it really liked it. While he’s is a good natured boy with a pure heart, the French exploitation of native Cameroonians cause the demise of Toundi this isn’t a spoiler, trust me! This book really highlighted how fearful French colonialists were of native Cameroonians and Black Africans in general. They were so fearful, insecure, ignorant and mentally fragile that they cons Painful. They were so fearful, insecure, ignorant and mentally fragile that they constantly exerted their supposed superiority over natives with hateful, brutal abuse.
Toundi’s innocence gave this novel so much humor. The ways he misunderstood the lifestyle of white people was hilarious and sad at the same time. The ways the natives spoke about the French gave me some good laughs as well. My Mom forced me to read this back when I was Back then, I didn’t like this book at all and found it difficult to understand and appreciate the myriad of proverbial phrases this storyline is blessed with.
I finally appreciate this novel as an underrated classic of the African Writer’s Series. A journal written in Ewondo, the indigenous language of the Maka, translated by its founder into French. Through a young boy’s eyes the reader gets a glimpse into the consequences of the colonial world as it touches Cameroon. Pay close attention to notions of propriety, whiteness, violence, sight and knowledge, and secret forms of resistance through music, feigning understanding, feigning incomprehension, etc.
This novel is very written with subtlety, making it a compelling and challenging rea A journal written in Ewondo, the indigenous language of the Maka, translated by its founder into French. This novel is very written with subtlety, making it a compelling and challenging read.
Another world fiction challenge book, my fourth in a month; I’m overdosed on these right now and need to take a break. This novella is purportedly the diary of a Cameroonian “houseboy” actually a young man, though we never learn his agewhich as it is fiction, of course doesn’t read like any real diary ever written. He becomes the servant of a powerful colonist, learns more about ferdimand whites than they’re comfortable having him ffrdinand, and it turns out badly for him.
This book was originally publi Another world fiction challenge book, my fourth in a month; I’m overdosed on these right now and need to take a break. This book was originally published inwhen Cameroon was still a French oyonp, and no doubt caused a stir at the time and has historical value for that reason. Eh, I could give some analysis of this book, the simple and abrupt writing style at least in ferinandthe story that focuses on the day-to-day activities of the white employers more so than the narrator’s inner life or feelings, but it boils down to another “this book has some academic ferdinane, but otherwise isn’t likely to be of much interest unless you’re from the area” review.
I am tired of writing fredinand reviews and you all are tired of reading them. I’ve read so many of these books now that even the most bizarre errors are beginning ouono repeat themselves – even the narrator’s observing something and describing it as “imperceptible” not “nearly imperceptible,” but actually incapable of being perceived only repeats a malapropism I’d seen before.
So, fuck it, instead Oyon going to give you a list of obscure foreign to me books, mostly in translation and hard to find outside of a university library, that I did enjoy and find entertaining.
Aug 19, Priscilla Mensah rated it liked it Shelves: In that way, am sure that a lot of people can relate to it.