Book Tells Three Tales in Early 1880s Africa Weaved Closely Together

Judy Witt wanted to combine true history facts with a fictional love story. It prompted her to write “Place of Crying: Inkaba Yakho Iphi? (Where Is Your Navel?)” (published by Xlibris AU in July 2017), a novel that tells three tales set in early 1880s Africa weaved closely together. The first focuses on two South African tribes, the Xhosa and the Khoikhoi. The second is on the colonial British protecting settlers. The final tale focuses on the Boers attempting to conquest or convert the heathens. The story begins during a war between most of the major tribes that draws in the British and the Dutch settlers.

Set for a new marketing campaign, this book is about a character named Coti, a young African woman from the Khoikhoi tribe who meets and falls in love with Tshane, who is descended from the chief of the Xhosas. She becomes a spiritual leader as he assumes the responsibilities of leadership. Both are sorely tested as they seek to raise a family and run a village in a time of ongoing violence. Bentley is an English officer attempting to maintain a degree of peace among warring tribes, isolated homesteaders, and many Boers who have as much disdain for the British as they do for the Africans. As the narrative unfolds, all three of the principal characters’ lives intertwine as the years become filled with danger, pain and sorrow but also happiness, joy and fulfillment.

An excerpt from a review by Joe Kilgore for The US Review of Books:

Witt fills her story with incredibly detailed enactments of cultural and religious ceremonies practiced by African tribes. Her vivid depictions of weddings, feasts, sacrifices, and more add an engrossing aura of authenticity to this tale of adventure. A writer confident in her sense of place and her storytelling capabilities, she has penned a novel that will appeal to those who enjoy learning as much as reading.

“Place of Crying: Inkaba Yakho Iphi? (Where Is Your Navel?)” invites readers to a story of war and peace, love and loss, the continual quest for a place to call one’s own and the unending attempts by some to find a lasting peace between those born to the land and those drawn to it. For more details about the book, please visit

“Place of Crying: Inkaba Yakho Iphi? (Where Is Your Navel?)”
By Judy Witt
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 224 pages | ISBN     9781543401677
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 224 pages | ISBN 9781543401660
E-Book | 224 pages | ISBN 9781543401653
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Judy Witt was born in Natal in South Africa on January 1944. Zulu women and Xhosa women raised her when the family moved to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The family later moved to Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia during the years those countries were fighting for freedom and independence. Caught up in the violence and terror that evolved and the Congo Revolution spillover, they returned to South Africa the day before Zambia’s independence. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, four married children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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