A busy Bokassa
will be constructing a dress during her 72-hour art extravaganza.
But you DO see blokes like the late Emperor Bokassa
and Idi Amin, Indonesian despots and South American dictators brilliant in braid, plated with medals, their military used only to oppress their own people.
The most notable of these were President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's relationship with Emperor Bokassa
of the Central African Republic and France's continuous support of the repressive rule of Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire.
In one of the final chapters Bill makes a persuasive case that President (and later self-proclaimed Emperor) Jean-Bedel Bokassa
may have been a cannibal and possibly served parts of school girls to his diplomatic dinner guests.
Robert Mugabe, whatever his ultimate fate, has already earned a place in the African pantheon of infamy alongside the likes of Uganda's Idi Amin and Milton Obote, Ethiopia's Mengistu Haile Mariam, Somalia's Siad Barre, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, and the Central African Republic's Jean-Bedel Bokassa
Part III, with its dramatically narrated episodes and vivid sketches, gives the accounting for the bitter harvest yielded from what Africa's fatally-flawed "big men"--figures like Jean-Bedel Bokassa
of the Central African Republic, whom Meredith describes as having "combined not only extreme greed and personal violence but delusions of grandeur unsurpassed by any other African leader" (224)--had sown.
Along similar lines, his more recent film, Echoes from a Somber Empire (1992), studies the reign of Jean Bedel Bokassa
over the former French colony of Ubangi-Shari, which became the Central African Republic upon independence in 1960.
Among the claims against Jean-Bedel Bokassa
, during 13 years of despotic rule in the Central African Republic, were that of killing and eating his critics.
Here, Kourouma draws on the likes of Bokassa
, Mobutu and Houphouet-Boigny, amongst others, to provide the inspiration for Koyaga in how to master the arts of fear and repression, corruption and glutenous consumption.
Jean Bedel Bokassa
led the Central African Republic from 1966 to 1979.
Rainwater floods the underground quarters of the palace at Berengo where Jean-Bedel Bokassa
hid for weeks amid piles of money and diamonds while pretending to be on official business.
Successive governments after independence -- those of Boganda (1958-59), Dacko (1960-65), Bokassa
(1966-79), and Dacko (1979-81) -- did not in fact practise tribalism.