O TESTAMENTO DO SR. NAPUMOCENO DA SILVA ARAUJO

I did not reread my complete weblog, but according to the categories I use this is the first time I use the category ‘Cabo Verde’.

I very much enjoyed reading this book by the Cabo Verdian author Germano Almeida (1945). He has a light touch in his writing, especially when writing about the main character of this book. The main character is de senhor we find in the title of the book. He has written his last will. It took him many years and many pages and booklets and cahiers to write down all he wanted to write down.

The book start with a hilarious session at which the last will is being read. The solicitor is unable to finish reading the last will due to the length of it, others take over his task in turns. The content of the last will brings forth a twist in the history of the family. Mr. Araujo was unmarried and a nephew expects to be the main recipient of the wealth and business of his uncle. But .. a young lady turns up on the pages of the last will. Her name is Graça, she was given birth to by the cleaner of his office. For 25 years this former cleaner, who had gone into early retirement, received a pension from mr. Araújo’s company. 

We get a picture of the public face of this noble man, who is a pillar of society, an important importer on his island. In the course of the developments when the papers are being read by the young lady and she gets in touch with people who lived near her biological father another story develops. Her father gets another face, a face with more complexity as earlier told in the book. He did not see the necessity of paying taxes to the government (in colonial days), so he tries to avoid it, in other ways as well he tries to make life easier for himself as a trader. We read how he started his own business and we witness his endeavour into the world of umbrella’s. He never got married, but in his last will we encounter a man who had an intimate knowledge of several ladies on the island.  In the end his daughter Graça starts a search for the great love of her father: Adélia. 

Through the eyes of this trader Almeida gives a view of life on one of the islands of Cabo Verde. Political life, the life of the traders. The general attitude of the people. The number of fatherless children.

A very enjoyable read.  

Germano Almeida – O Testamento do Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo – 1991 

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