Book review: Harambee: The Spirit of Innovation in Africa

Harambee: The Spirit of Innovation in Africa

Mike Bruton

Best Red

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

There is indeed much to celebrate about African ingenuity but unfortunately Mike Bruton and Best Red should not have been the party planners.

Perhaps the book just needed a bit of clever editing but as it is, the gumption and inventiveness of the innovations in the book lose most of their charm because of the dull presentation.

What the book gets right is that it is well and widely researched and covers a lot of ground but what it gets wrong is that it reads like a textbook and I’m not referring to the bright and colourful textbooks with lots of pictures, anecdotes, graphs and cleverly constructed narratives (all of which would not have been out of place in this case) but the tiny-text loaded books that students are forced to plough through for their least favourite subjects.

I initially picked up this book with interest and even a little bit of excitement but that didn’t last. The cover is bright and interesting but that doesn’t spill over onto the inside pages.

I think this book would be a good resource for school projects because of its information concentration but it was not the light, inspirational, entertaining read I hoped it would be.