Authors and Book Reviews  

October 06 - 12, 2006


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Coastweek - - Author Nisar Sheraly who wrote "Moto! Moto!
Majestic Cinema is on Fire"
is seen with his artist Jacob
Francis at the Book signing at Gallery Book Shop, Zanzibar.


"Moto! Moto! Majestic Cinema is on Fire"

Coastweek - - Well known author Nisar Sheraly has launched his latest story on Zanzibar entitled: "Moto! Moto! Majestic Cinema is on Fire".

An official launch co-incuided with the recent ninth Zanzibar International Film Festival, Festival of the Dhow Countries.

Through the eyes of a surly, obnoxious, self-centred, Mr. Knowall semi retired teacher, named Professa, the event of the fateful day in 1954 is told by the author, with vivid imagination and subtle sense of humour, while retaining the uniqueness of the language and expressions of Zanzibaris.

The illustrations, creatively crafted by a local Artist, Jacob Francis, depicting the scenes then, enhance the story.

Zanzibaris would recognize the names of Amir Ngozi, Chepe, Aghuli and Golo Buji amongst others.  

All in all, it is "the best way of remembering the past", as Dr. Abdul Sheriff writes in the Foreword.

A must read for all Zanzibaris who remember the inferno as preparations were made to premiere "Albella" on a new Cinemascope screen in the Majestic Cinema that had a facelift internally and externally with chokaa.

Did you pick up some film strips of "Albella" that were lying scattered on the road ?

Did you join the human chain of n'doo carriers to douse the fire? Did you hear the frantic braying of punda of Ramazani ?  

Did you see Professa throwing his weight around ?

Did you follow Ranchod or Gomes taking pictures ?

This book brings back those pleasant memories of one-shilling-all-round Sunday morning as well as Zanana and Night shows !

Copies may be ordered from:
Nisar Sheraly,
21 Samantha Circle,
Richmond Hill,
ON, L4B 2R4, Canada

Excerpts from Review: "The story, like the fire itself, is fast-moving and gripping ...

"The narrative certainly evokes the memory of the event itself, and, as most of us who remember the fire were probably teenagers at the time, the drama that accompanied it would have occupied our minds for days on end, eventually lodging itself firmly in our memories (especially as fire in public buildings  - like murders - were rare in the Zanzibar of the early 1950s).

"That Nisar should have published this story over half a century later is testament of its endurance."

- Dr. F. Topan SOAS, University of London

In Zanzibar they are available from Gallery Book Shop and Memories opposite Post Office. In Dar es Salaam at Novel Book Shop at Steers and at Slip Way.

In UK, please call:
Mr Murtaza Bandali,
Alif International,
01923 240 844.

Other Publications in English by the same author, include Folktales from Zanzibar For Children.





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