Ian Mathie spent his childhood in Africa and returned there, after school and a short service commission in the RAF, as a rural development officer for the British government. His work in water resources and related projects during the 1970s brought him in close contact with the African people and their rich cultures and varied tribal customs, many of which are now all but lost. These experiences were the inspiration for his African Memoir series. Ian continued to visit Africa until health considerations curtailed his travelling. He now lives in Warwickshire with his wife and dog.
Sorcery is a fact of life in many African societies; the supernatural is taken for granted. ‘Sorcerers and Orange Peel’ is a true story of witchcraft, spells, Poro devils and frightening apparitions in a remote and inhospitable corner of West Africa – an eventful journey through the haze where science meets superstition.
A gripping memoir of the 1974 humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, Dust of the Danakil is a true story of an ill-conceived project in the violent, drought-stricken Danakil region. The author, sent by UK government pen-pushers to harness seasonal flood water and turn the notoriously aggressive Afar herdsmen into farmers, discovered a hostile environment that almost cost him him his life.
West Africa in the 1970s: volatile years immediately following independence brought the author in contact with a number of Presidents, Kings, Emperors, village and tribal chiefs and a succession of extraordinary people. Circumstances contrived to place him at dinner with four heads of state whose rule had immense impact, positive and negative, on their countries and on West Africa.
A true-life memoir from West Africa. The culture shock experienced by a London-based government trouble-shooter when he travels to Africa only deepens when he is hit by tropical fever, mysterious forces and the ramifications of corruption at high level. His gradual coming to terms with Africa opens a window on the colour, vibrancy and richness of rural life in Africa in the 1970s.
A tale of intrique and ingenuity set in Africa, Bride Price tells the true story of Ian Mathie and his foster daughter, Abélé. When a hated and feared man demands to marry Abélé, Ian is forced to rely on his wits and courage to find a way within the rich traditions of the area to set a fair 'bride price' that the man would refuse to pay. Beautifully written with sensitivity and authenticity.