life rattle Special Black History Month Podcast no. 2

February 20, 2011



Eloi Minka reading "The Misty Trail"

tonight's writer and story

Eloi Minka was born in 1970 in Douala, the capitol city of Cameroon, a west central African nation. Minka’s father worked as an office manager; his mother worked as a home maker, raising a family of six boys. Eloi Minka grew up and went to school in Douala before coming to Canada at the age of 18. He attended the University of Ottawa where he studied mechanical engineering and graduated in 1994. Unable to find work in his field, Minka switched his studies to computer science where he found more success in landing jobs. After working freelance in the Ottawa area for a couple of years, Minka went to Australia in 1998 to complete his Masters in computer science. He returned to Canada in 1999, settling this time in Toronto, where he has lived since, working as a software developer.

“The Misty Trail” presents an extraordinary coming of age tale of the narrator, an 18 year-old who leaves for Canada in a week, and of Sidonie, his cousin in her early twenties whose family has arranged her marriage to a member of another tribe. The action of the story happens over the narrator’s final week in Africa, and moves from the small village of Bella in southern Cameroon, to the capitol city of Douala, and finally to Mirabel International airport in Montreal. But this description of the story does not do justice the scope of its vision; Minka also includes a brief history of modern Cameroon and detailed, complex portraits of several characters and life in modern Africa.

Arnie Achtman recorded Eloi Minka reading his story for Life Rattle, the story show.