Reviews

“An essential book for anyone who wishes to know or thinks they know what life is really like for those caught up in the terrible wars in DRC. The book offers an explanation of what lies behind the violence and is a moving account from a brave and resilient survivor”. Linda Melvern, Investigative Journalist.

“A compelling story of the triumph of humanity over ludicrous odds. The book gives a rich and unprecedented insight into the life of a community fighting for its very existence while a failing state falls apart around them.” Richard Wilson, author of Titanic Express and Don’t Get Fooled Again”

“This is a tale detailing the journey of a young man who began life herding cattle in a remote area of eastern DRC and ended up as a refugee in Britain and an activist for his people, the Banyamulenge. With the 1994 Rwandan genocide as a background, the depth and lucidity with which Ntung explains the socio-political landscape of this conflicted area makes for an extremely informative read. It is a fascinating documentation of a people rarely written about and its optimism is infectious”. Rose Skelton, Africa Report (Paris)

Dear Alex, I’ve just finished reading ‘Not My Worst Day’.  I feel a little shell-shocked just from reading it so I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like to live through such nightmarish events.  It must have been terribly difficult to write.  From the perspective of living in the UK, the events in Rwanda and the Congo at the time seemed almost impossible to believe let alone understand.  After reading your account I have a much better understanding of what happened and how it came about.  I’m so pleased you’ve been able to find some peace and security.  Thanks for opening my eyes and reminding me how privileged we are in Hastings”. Robin Dean, UK

Dear Alex,

A little while ago, I received an email from Vandu about the book you have recently published.  I purchased it immediately and read it avidly.  I wanted to thank you for such a rich and fresh personal account.  Despite having read many books on the Great Lakes region of Africa over the years (and I still do), I have remained largely ignorant of the situation and bewildered by its complexity.  Thanks to your book, I now have a greater understanding and I shall be better equipped to do my job as a translator and interpreter for clients from that region. Your have made a remarkable journey and we are lucky that it has led you here”. Dominique MacNeill, UK

Dear Alex,

I was barely five years old when the genocide in Rwanda happened. As years went by, I had a faint idea that Central African states were in a state of conflict, but I was oblivious to the extent of the brutality until much later in life. When I began studying issues in the African continent, the sheer violence of it all took me my surprise.

Reading your book was one of the most difficult things I have done in a long time. Usually when I get a read-worthy book in my hands, I power through the pages and finish it in a matter of days. Your story however, written with great detail and narrated with such feeling, gave me a vivid image and I felt like I could empathize with the young boy at some level…and then I couldn’t. I could not bring myself to read more than a few pages at a time. I found myself closing the book while battling a wide range of emotions. My mind was swimming with questions and things I did not understand. How unjust it all was, how was this allowed to happen? Why didn’t anybody do anything? And then of course the understanding that the challenges I have been through in my life, seemed pale in contrast to yours – and the guilt that came with. This is similar to when you describe your first interactions with children at the orphanage and listening to their stories, you exclaim that you realised that your problems seemed easy compared to the violence they had witnessed. This was followed by more productive thoughts such as – What can I do? How can I contribute? You could help me figure this out.

I just wanted to let you know that I carried your book with me in my last week in London, in the tube, in busses and in cafés. Once I got back to Mumbai and resumed my doctoral studies and my research work, I took it along with me on the local trains, college and I rationed the pages everyday so as to not be overwhelmed.

Thank You for writing such an honest book. I cannot even begin to fathom the courage it would have taken to reopen those painful memories. Your success story, if I may call it that, is nothing short of an inspiration. I will not even try to explain the impact it has had on my world view – just know that it is significant.

If there is any way that I can contribute to the activities of your organization, do let me know. If you happen to be in India at any point, please do get in touch. My family and I would be delighted to host you and your beautiful family.”Veda, India

Hi Alex :) I have just finished reading your book; it took me a bit longer to start it as I was preparing for my big trip away. I just wanted to say how inspirational you are, you’re a very special man and it’s an honour to know you. Please send my love to Esther and I trust Kezia and Abigail are doing well :). God bless. Fraser Cooper, UK

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I found Tokos the most interesting character. He started out enthusiastic and full of hope but ended with a horrible death. He also encouraged and inspired you to do so many things. I think that if you hadn’t met him, you wouldn’t have wrote this book. Or have enough stories to write this book.

The stories in Not My Worst Day are about courage and love for their families. You and many others are fighting for a brighter and equal future for the Banyamulege people. An image of how far they’ve come will reflect that. I know we’re not there yet but we have come a long way. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is love. Love for you family, love for your (lost) friends and even love for your enemies. That kind of love gives you strength and courage to do amazing things.

This book you wrote opened my eyes. I am from Burundi but i grew up in The Netherlands. Reading these stories, the terrible events that took place, shocked me. The Banyamulenge people, the people from Burundi and Rwanda that died in that war didn’t deserve to die. They didn’t do anything bad to be treated like that. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m looking forward for your next book. Deborah Iteriteka, Netherland

Below are Alex Ntung’s daughters, Abigail and Keziah, promises to read dady’s book when they ’are grown ups’.

Abi and kezi

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Andy Duncan
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 17:46:34

    “What a life you have led! Your graciousness towards others, hope, belief in the human spirit and, above all, concern for justice, shines through”. Andy Duncan
    On behalf of Normandy Day UK (Peace Through Unity)

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