Leesplesier

I loved this one.

Baking cakes in Kigali

Baking cakes in Kigali

Angel reminds me a bit of Mma Ramotswe in Botswana. Between cupcakes, cardamom, condoms and other crises, she stays wise and caring. But she also learns a lot: about her neighbours in the compound, about Rwanda and its sad history, and about her own family and of course, herself.

Angel is a perfect example of what “a somebody” should be like who lives in a foreign country: curious but polite, inquisitive but sensitive. It is fascinating to be allowed a peek into this place and time. It actually reminded me of The Reader – again a book that touches on how a nation deals with its collective guilt and shame after a terrible atrocity. Of course, an issue with which South Africans still struggle (even if they don’t want to admit it).

But the book is not heavy or preachy – it is sad and funny and full of hope and positivity about Africa and its people and its problems. It focuses on the small actions of one woman and how it makes a difference – and after all, isn’t that the only way to make a difference? One bit at a time, changing “Good Enough” into “Perfect”? And celebrating, even amidst death and disease and other darkness, by decorating cakes with passion and riotous colours.

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And the cupcakes she serves at each meeting with a client, forced me to make some. They got rave reviews, despite the fact that I didn’t really stick with the recipe (some ingredients were not spot on, and then there is my well-known abhorrence of correct measuring and sifting…).

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