Acclaimed author reveals secret Scottish roots in moving tribute

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2011-11-13 03:13Z by Steven

Acclaimed author reveals secret Scottish roots in moving tribute

Daily Record
Glasgow, Scotland

Maggie Barry
Sunday Mail

Writer Aminatta Forna has been called many things in her life but never Scottish—until today.

The African author’s fearless books exposing betrayal and treachery in Sierra Leone have brought critical acclaim and awards.

But only now has it emerged that Aminatta, whose father was executed when she was only 10, is half Scottish.

As her latest book The Memory Of Love was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, she paid tribute to her mum Maureen Campbell.

Aminatta said she was as brave and determined as her dad Mohamed, the son of an African chief, who died standing up for his beliefs.

Aminatta, 46, said: “My mother always gets wiped from my biographies—it’s always about Sierra Leone and my father. The Scottish side is never recognised.

“I was born at Bellshill Maternity Hospital, where my father was a doctor. My mother is from Aberdeen so suddenly being recognised as a half Scot is a bit of a breakthrough…

…She pays tribute to her mum for being willing to marry the man she loved in the face of opposition from both their families and society’s unease with mixed marriages.

Maureen’s parents had wanted her to marry a Scot and Mohamed’s family had wanted a dynastic marriage, in keeping with his status as the son of an African chieftain…

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