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VISIT the official book website: www.cafe.tinekecreations.com

'Cafe d'Afrique: A Personal Discovery', a travel memoir written by Tineke Van der Eecken about the Zambian culture, music, food and dance. The book comes with the CD with the traditional African Music of the Cafe d'Afrique. 

When Tineke Van der Eecken first arrives in Africa as part of an international aid programm, she brings with her a mix of childhood dreams and Western preconceived ideas. 
'I came to Africa in high heels,' she writes. But when she moves to Zambia, Tineke falls in love - in a completely new way - with the country and its culture. 

Now she dreams of setting up a 'cultural restaurant' where locals and tourists alike can sample authentic Zambian cuisine, music and dance. Her dream comes true, but can it last? In the attempt to meet the expected challenges, Tineke must come through some unexpected tests and trials that take her not only beyond borders, but also past boundaries. She wonders if what matters may not be the success of her venture so much as the person she is becoming ... 

Set against a shifting backdrop of social, political and cultural life in Zambia, this part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-coming-of-age story is a celebration of friendship, not just with people, but with a county.

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The Story Behind This Book
When Tineke Van der Eecken first arrives in Africa as part of an international aid programme, she brings with her a mix of childhood dreams and Western preconceived ideas. ‘I came to Africa in high heels,’ she writes. But when she moves to Zambia, Tineke falls in love — in a completely new way — with the country and its culture. Now she dreams of setting up a 'cultural restaurant’ where locals and tourists alike can sample authentic Zambian cuisine, music and dance. Her dream comes true, but can it last? In the attempt to meet the expected challenges, Tineke must come through some unexpected tests and trials that take her not only beyond borders, but also past boundaries. She wonders if what matters may not be the success of her venture so much as the person she is becoming ... Set against a shifting backdrop of social, political and cultural life in Zambia, this part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-coming-of-age story is a celebration of friendship, not just with people, but with a country. The new edition of the book includes The Music of Café d’Afrique, a compilation CD with recordings of original by Brian Zanji, Maureen Lilanda and Chilu Lemba.

Media Mentions

Praise and Reviews

"Van der Eecken writes with generosity, frankness and insight; consequently her own character and the others she depicts, such as the wonderful culinary genius Mrs Zulu, are revealed in all their flawed beauty against a shifting backdrop of social, political and cultural perceptions and realities. Part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-coming-of-age story, Cafe d'Afrique is a book about making friends, not just with people but with a country."

William Yeoman for The West Australian


"In Cafe d'Afrique, young, naive and somewhat idealistic Tineke, living in Zambia, is creating opportunities to give more exposure to African culture. It proves to be a hard ride. She comes across swindlers, gets cheated, has to cope with corruption and tackle bureaucracy. A dream threatens to become a nightmare. At the end Cafe d'Afrique has to close its doors but Tineke has grown into a mature, grown up young woman. "The fruit bearing tree I had nurtured was not the Cafe, it had always and only ever been myself". A very honest book explaining why people fall in love with Africa against all odds."

Guy Poppe, Africa-analyst & radio journalist

"This memoir, set in Africa and full of colour and diversity, never strays far from its central idea of shared humanity. As Tineke passes through many conflicts and learns to make her way through the world, we grow to recognise with her that a life well-lived is one that rejoices in commonality and difference together. In giving full weight and value to every one of its main characters, whatever their culture, her story celebrates the individual worth of those who make up humanity in all its glory, with all its flaws." 
Michèle Drouart, writer

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Tineke Van der Eecken
Tineke Van der Eecken is a Belgian-born Fremantle (Western Australia) based artist and writer. She is a published author of 'Café d'Afrique: A Personal Discovery' and other creati More...