The book is a tale of opportunism, spoliation, misappropriation and dispossession. The arrival of Chinese in Africa in drovees lately is arguably the latest chapter in a very long narrative of empire building through emigration.

Besides giving a good general description of what it is like to grow up in a mud hut in the rural African countryside, with barely enough money to eat or to attend school, the book also describes the unique culture and political setting of Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

Who could remember to smile
when those guns fed us lead
In Bangui our hearts bled
Crying for sanity
Who remember's Stanley's fatal whip on our backs
Chopped arms, now firearms in Bangui
Lighting Ubangi with flowing dead blood
Bangui never dies
Determined to silence the ghosts of Brazza
Leopold, Bozize and Bokassa
I stand bold with African pride
I have died many times before
Made to kiss the more

'Strive to be Happy' is an inspirational work replete with didactic messages. Throughout this book Lamnyam’s voice sounds like that of a quiet peace-maker calling for non-resistance as a modus operandi needed to ward off the pangs of pain occasioned by social injustice, exploitation and disenfranchisement.


Unbeknown to many people, some powerful conservative Somali clerics are strong-arming famous musicians into ending and disowning their own musical careers, on spurious claims that the music is prohibited in Islam. Music is very important in Somali culture and in Islamic traditions. Extremists must not be allowed to go on with this senseless eradication of heritage.