Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Lala Salama


I was born in Oxford. From the age of four, until eleven, I grew up in Kenya, East Africa. My father had been recruited by his former commanding officer to come and work in the colony, and my mother followed him out with us children, my brother and sisters. We did not really know what our Dad was doing in Kenya, but we certainly had an interesting life. We hunted for the pot and lived up country where there was no electricity or refrigeration.

It was not until I was sitting in the hot tub in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, with my father, and when I had asked him, "Do you remember the first time I saw a dead body?" That started a conversation that would begin to reveal what my father was really doing in the colony in the 1950's.

The title Lala Salama mean "sleep peacefully", a Swahili blessing. As children we slept in many places and so the words are chosen to refer to the many changes that occured in our lives. 

My mother worked at many jobs to support us after she and our father seperated. One of them was as corresponding secretary for Carr Hartley, the white hunter and international game exporter.  The cover shows our mother holding the cheetah Rita.

As this book unfolds it reveals the nature of our lives in a British colony at the zenith and end of the colonial era, it answers the question of what my father was really doing in Kenya. It also explains why we had such interesting pets.

Neil with a lion cub in Rumuruti.

You can see a list of my book titles on the website https://neilmcleodbooks.com/