houseboy Ferdinand Oyono begins his haunting tragedy at the end of a Cameroonian houseboy’s life. “Brother, what are we,” Toundi Onduo. Ferdinand Oyono has really done a great work with this fictional work. portrayed this in the life of Toundi when he has to be the houseboy of the Commander. Ferdinand Oyono crafts a novel about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist. In West Africa specifically.

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Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono. I first read it about ten years ago in one of my undergrad courses on African novels, but I decided to reread it as one of the works in translations I’ll be teaching for my IB English course next year. See all 6 questions about Houseboy…. Brilliant little novel about French exploitation of the Cameroon people.

Interestingly, her youseboy do not begin until after an interesting encounter with Toundi. While the end did not feel as tightly constructed as the beginning, I think it rightfully deserves inclusion in any postcolonial literature course. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The violence would have been more removed, she said.

Waveland Press – Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono (translated by John Reed)

It offers a glimpse into the life of houxeboy articulate African, Toundi Onduo, who was at first intoxicated by the offerings of the French, and determined to assimilate into their culture, but later realized the hypocrisy of European culture and despised its rule of his people.


Moreau lyono that Toundi be beaten, not because he had sinned but because he knew of his affair with Madame. Notify me of new comments via email.

That advice is what many people of color consider life’s script now. At the point in history when this novel was written, Africans were endeavoring to see themselves as valuable, separate identities than their colonizers; as people.

Mar 07, Darkowaa rated it really liked it. Oyono uses two major themes to develop his story: You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Moreau orders Mendim to beat up Toundi, but Mendim throws ox’s blood on him to make it look ferdinanr he is injured. Moreau returns with the white doctor and talks about punishing Toundi some more. A great, short read. There’s little else you can ask of an author. An interesting novella which captures life under French colonial rule in Cameroon. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

In that way, am sure that a lot of people can relate to it.

Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono

Selected pages Title Page. He is not embarrassed for himself, though, he is embarrassed for his master and all the other foolish whites in his ooyno. The extra marital affair was against the African traditions that Toundi was born to and what he was assimilated to by fr. This tragedy, like any, gives the protagonist an opportunity to speak his peace before his time is done. A beautifully written book that tells a story that moves from one point to the other effortlessly with deep contextualization of imperial Cameroon and the African condition; mainly embedded in the dialogues.


As time goes on, Madame becomes more and more hostile and disrespectful towards Toundi. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. No matter what fervinand African could do, he was still black, and could never overcome the hurdle of acceptance into French culture.

Cameroonian novelist and houzeboy, Oyono, was visiting Guinea during the time it was the colony Spanish Guineawhen he came across one of his countrymen.

I will read the story again. This novel is very written with subtlety, making it a compelling and challenging read.

Critical Analysis — Ferdinand Oyono’s Houseboy

It is often times also painful, moving. People have no compunctions about being violent when they’re convinced that the subject of that violence is not a person. When he dies the narrator is given two exercise books which make up the diary of Toundi who has been ferdniand in the home of the French commandant of a Cameroon town.

In prison Toundi is touchered into accepting the crime that he never did.