Autobiography Gives Child’s Eye View of West African Regime Change and
‘When Everything Has Fallen’ by Nathalia Zongo, published by BookSurge
(PRWEB) April 26, 2010 -- Few of us, by the age of 25, have a life story complete and compelling enough to
command an audience, whatever celebrity footballers might pretend. An exception is African born author,
Nathalia Zongo, who lived a childhood of crisis, hardship and deliverance in a time of bloody political turmoil,
made all the more remarkable by the fact that in her early 20s she started to learn English from scratch and by her
mid 20s had written – in a beautiful, lyrical English – an enthralling autobiography, published in the US in 2007
and now available in the UK.
‘When Everything Has Fallen’ is the captivating tale of a young girl born in the impoverished African country of
Burkina-Faso to a father who was the president’s chief military officer and who was forced to flee with a price on
his head after the 1987 assassination of the president, Tomas Sankara, in a political coup.
Zongo, now 28, was just five when her world was turned upside down by national politics and her story began in
earnest. From the first pages, the reader is drawn into her world, not least by her unmistakably West African
rhythms and cadence, as well as a candour and charm which together create a sense that one is not so much
reading this life story as sitting intimately in the room with the author as she talks quietly and from the heart.
The assassination of Sankara – who was generally felt to be a forward thinking leader despite himself gaining
power through a coup, and who upset traditionalists by promoting improvements in health, education and
women’s rights – made Nathalia Zongo’s father, Etienne Zongo*, persona non grata in his own country.
Arrested, imprisoned and tortured several times, and otherwise held under house arrest, he eventually fled in fear
of his life and vanished from sight, leaving his family to cope.
His wife, Florence, and chil