Moodie’s Boy: Growing Up in Africa
by Peri Mika Chinoda
About the author
The extreme and almost impassible economic and family obstacles, the distance away from the nearest school and a deep quest for an education compel Micah to leave home at the age of nine. In the shelter of his two older brothers, he secures employment and attends night school. When it fails, his determination forces him to be employed on a farm and has part of his wages withheld for school the following year. At the end of the year, his African employer cheats him of his wages. In desperation he seeks for employment again and gets employed this time by a British spinster who becomes his benefactor beyond high school. He trains at the local seminary and becomes a minister. At the request of churches in US, he is sent as a “missionary”, and a year later they sponsor him to return to US for higher education. He ends up with a doctoral degree in education, and returns to Africa to support his family and serve his newly independent country.
About the book
It was a blessing to be Moodie’s Boy. Yes, being Moodie’s Boy gave the author the opportunity to set up, stand, dream, and reach for his goals as he played with the hands of fate. Moodie’s Boy is a gripping true story of tradition, change, struggle, survival, determination, hope and the persistence which awaits readers as author Peri Mika Chinoda shares his life and his growing up in Africa. It is a stirring and inspiring life story that unravels the destiny of the author. It shows how one European old lady defied the institutionalized racial policies of the British colony and changed the life of an African boy who would also change the lives of others. Throughout the story the reader is told about the history, culture, and politics of this British colony and shown how destiny was shaped by a person’s simple act of kindness and goodwill. The reader is also exposed to a rich dosage of morals embedded in African folklore. Born in a traditional African family in Southern Rhodesia, a British colony at the time, Micah grows up in an environment where the father is the head of the household and always has the last say on everything. As part of their culture, his father has three wives and the children are to do some household chores and respect all the three wives as mothers. Each mother, however, is solely responsible for the daily needs of her children while the father is responsible for the general welfare of the household. Micah’s mother wants her children to attend school, but the economic and family obstacles are in the way. These extreme and almost impassable obstacles, plus the distance away from the nearest school; however, do not stop Micah from pursuing a deep quest for an education. This situation compels him to leave home at the age of nine. In the shelter of his two older brothers, he secures employment and attends night school. When this fails, his determination forces him to be employed on a farm to save enough money for school. He asks his African employer to withhold part of his wages for school, but his employer cheats him of the year’s wages rightly due to him. In desperation, he seeks another employment in the nearest town, and gets employed as a kitchen assistant by Minnah Pigot-Moodie, a British spinster who would turn the hands of fate on him. Will Micah again ask this employer to withhold his wages for school? Will she also cheat him of his rightful earnings? Will he really have a chance for a brighter future? Readers will find out as this story unfolds his life, education, career, and so much more. One reader comments: “This is quite a story! I found it to be very inspiring and uplifting. What a contrast our lives – the author’s and mine, and as an adult now I can understand my position of privilege so much better. I am encouraging my students to read Moodie’s Boy because of their need to understand how the majority of people in the world live”. Another says, “This book has helped me better understand what life was like in Rhodesia”.
Peri Mika Chinoda
April 16, 2020