The glacier-crowned massif in the heart of equatorial Africa. the Ruwenzori Mountains were known of in antiquity as the Mountains of the Moon, Tribe is a work of no definable genre – part history, part ethnology, part unfolding drama, part autobiography, part a study of the sacred link between race and place.
Tribe spans half a century of Tom Stacey’s own life in which he has repeatedly been a caught up in the turbulent struggle for self-determination of the Bakonzo people in their highland stronghold beneath Uganda’s frontier with Congo.
From a seed planted by the young writer in 1954 with his Mukonzo companion Isaya, the Bakonzo were to establish their own armed autonomous kingdom, and in the end to advance towards formal recognition in 2009 (after the completion of this work) as one of Uganda’s five constitutional kingdoms, under King Charles Wesley as successor to his father and first King, Isaya.
‘Tom Stacey triumphantly defies every literary shibboleth, unfolding an important document in the history of the end of the British empire.’
— The historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, selecting Tribe as his Book of the Year for The Times Literary Supplement
‘Both Norman Lewis and Wilfred Thesiger would have treasured Tribe as true travel. It captures Banville’s essence of “elsewhere”. Everything shimmers. The writing is limber, lyrical, muscular and compelling often all of these at once.’
— Tom Adam, naming the same work as his ‘find of the year’ in the Scotsman
‘Tribe is history, anthropology, travelogue and philosophy all brewed together to produce a wonderful story, and it has much to say to us all.’
— Ronald Mutebi, Kabaka of Buganda, in the Literary Review
‘Tribe is a thrilling adventure. The reader is lifted by Tom Stacey’s boundless commitment and sincerity.’
— Mark Amory – Spectator