LAUNCH: Goodbye, Dr Banda by Alexander Chula


Alexander Chula will be in conversation with Richard Whitaker to discuss his book Goodbye, Dr Banda: Lessons for the West from a Small African Country.

The critically acclaimed book Goodbye, Dr Banda, by author and medical doctor Alexander Chula, combines memoir and travelogue and follows the author’s experiences working in Malawi, first as a Classics teacher at Hastings Banda’s Kamuzu Academy, and later as a medical volunteer.

The book uncovers the story behind an oak treasure chest stumbled upon by Alexander where he finds an antique edition of Julius Caesar’s Gallic War:

“This unexpected talisman of Western high culture belongs to the mercurial Dr Banda, a man of many parts: scholarly physician, anti-colonial hero, brutal tyrant, and fallen philosopher-king.”

Banda leads the author deep into the heart of this mysterious country, there to uncover a bizarre meeting of worlds: between one of Africa’s most fascinating indigenous cultures and the best and worst of our own. Here tribal ritual collides with Greek theatre; masked dancers with roving classicists; poets and pop stars with missionary-explorers; hippies and kleptocrats with long-suffering peasants.

  • Thursday 23 November, 6:15–7pm
  • Beattie Lecture Theatre, University of South Africa, Cape Town

This event will be held alongside the 34th Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa, which is hosted by the University of Cape Town from 22–25 November 2023. The theme of the conference is ‘Order and Chaos’.

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Thursday 23 Nov 2023
Beattie Lecture Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa. United Kingdom