When the colonial powers divided the Great Lakes Region of Africa in the nineteenth century, new states were created based on nothing more than lines drawn on a map. Despite having their homelands in the Congo, the Banyamulenge tribe have always been perceived as foreigners in their own country.

Alex’s extraordinary journey begins with childhood memories of grazing cattle on the plains and mountains of South Kivu. As a teenager, living away from his family, his joy of attending school in the city is tempered by the challenges he faces as an outsider.

Struggling to make sense of social, tribal and economic divisions, he witnesses the catastrophic breakdown in order that precipitates the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and the subsequent violence and conflict in the region fuelled by tensions linked to Tutsi and Hutu ethnicity. As a result, tragically, he lost eleven members of his family in the violence.

Not My Worst Day is a coming of age tale, set against a backdrop of nightmarish events. While pursuing an education and a dream to publicise the plight of his people, Alex must navigate the dangers of a life lived in the shadow of poverty and discrimination.

His journey through the complicated realities of life in the Great Lakes Region of Africa in the 1990s is a triumph of hope, persistence and the will to succeed in his quest. Tim Lay, Grit Lit, Brighton