The Second Coming of Mavala
By Peter Orner
UNAM Press, 2019
Set in Namibia after independence in 1990, The second coming of Mavala Shikongo takes place at Goas, a Catholic faem school near Karibib. Larry Kaplanski, a young American volunteer, lands at Goas to teach English and History. Upon learning that hee brings with him no teaching qualifications, the principal says, " You came under the erroneus presumption that yourself will be of use to us? Oh erroneus!" Trapped at Goas along with a variety of accentric characters, 'Kaplansk' becomes part of a close- knit group of teachers. Little escapes his observant but comically nin-judgmental eye.
The title character, Mavala Shikongo, teacher of the sub b'S, is a disaffected ex- freedom fighter who can take an Ak-47 in 17 seconds and has 'gravity-defying' balance in stiletto heals. The subject of much unrequited desire, she is silent about her past, and enigmatic about the future.