This week’s recommended read: Rat Roads: One Man’s Incredible Journey by Jacques Pauw

Posted on 29 January 2013 by Phillipa Mitchell

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We’re so excited to be featuring Rat Roads by Jacques Pauw this week. After all, we’re all about opening people’s eyes to the world through books.

In this extraordinary book, celebrated journalist Jacques Pauw gives a human face to some of the most tumultuous events in Rat Roadsrecent African history.

Rat Roads chronicles the remarkable journey of Kennedy Gihana, a young Tutsi man who survived the genocide in Rwanda, committed horrifying atrocities in Africa’s bloodiest civil war and walked thousands of kilometres to South Africa, where he slept in parks, lived on the streets and worked as a low-paid security guard until he had saved enough money to enrol for a law degree.

In 2011 he took the podium at the University of Pretoria to receive a master’s degree in law.

Rat Roads combines many strands of what life in Africa, and South Africa, is like for a large proportion of people. Besides being the chronicle of one man’s unforgettable journey, it addresses topical issues such as civil conflict, xenophobia and the plight of refugees, and will open people’s eyes to the reality of life on the streets.

It is a story of horror and adversity, and of triumph and hope.


Jacques PaJacques Pauwuw is one of South Africa’s most decorated journalists and television documentary filmmakers. He was a founder member of the anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper Vrye Weekblad, where he exposed the existence of police death squads. Thereafter he worked for some of the country’s most esteemed publications before becoming a filmmaker.

He has travelled throughout Africa and has produced documentaries on wars and conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Sudan and Liberia.

He has won awards in South Africa, the United States, Africa and Europe, including the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, the Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting, the Young African Leadership Award and the Nat Nakasa award for bravery and integrity in journalism. He is the author of four books: three of non-fiction and one of fiction.

He is a journalist at Media24’s investigative unit and lives in Cape Town.

Click here to buy your copy today from Red Pepper Books for only R189.00




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