Wet Hot African Summer

We’ve scoured the web to bring you the best and worst romance, adventure, intrigue, and kinky fantasies Africa has to offer.

A still from "Gito l'ingrat" from 1992.

At number 10 in the list of the best and worst romance, adventure, intrigue, and kinky fantasies Africa has to offer: Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding. When someone says “Africa” and “romance novel” Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding is the obvious choice. It’s trashy if a bit timid for our taste. From the author’s website:

Burning Embers, published by Omnific Publishing, is a contemporary historical romance novel set in Kenya in 1970. It depicts the developing attraction and love between a young and naive woman, Coral, who has come home to Africa, the land of her birth, and Rafe, a handsome, virile, commanding plantation owner who carries a dark secret heavy in his heart. It is an evocative and passionate story of coming of age, of letting go of the past, of having faith in a person and of overcoming obstacles to love, set against the vivid and colourful backdrop of rural Africa and its culture.

We like: African women returning home to Africa young and naïve; handsome and virile plantation owners; unimportant mundane things, blossoming, yearning;  the vivid and colorful backdrop of Africa and its culture; and the title showing up in this scene:

Though the afternoon sunshine was beginning to fade, the air was still hot and heavy. Coral was struck by the awesome silence that surrounded them. Not a bird in sight, no shuffle in the undergrowth, even the insects were elusive. They climbed a little way up the escarpment over the plateau and found a spot that dominated the view of the whole glade. Rafe spread out the blanket under an acacia tree. They ate some chicken sandwiches and eggs and polished off the bottle of wine. They chatted casually, like old friends, about unimportant mundane things, as though they were both trying to ward off the real issue, to stifle the burning embers that were smoldering dangerously in both their minds and their bodies.

All the while, Coral had been aware of the need blossoming inside her, clouding all reason with desire. She could tell that he was fighting his own battle. Why was he holding back? Was he waiting for her to make the first move? Rafe was laying on his side, propped up on his elbow, his head leaning on his hand, watching her through his long black lashes. The rhythm of his breathing was slightly faster, and she could detect a little pulse beating in the middle of his temple, both a suggestion of the turmoil inside him. Rafe put out a hand to touch her but seemed to change his mind and drew it away. Coral stared back at him, her eyes dark with yearning, searching his face.

The shutters came down. “Don’t, Coral,” Rafe whispered, “don’t tease. There’s a limit to the amount of resistance a man has.”

Number 9, The African Queen is Audrey Hepburn as a British missionary’s “sister” trapped in German Eastern Africa when the First World War breaks out. When she convinces a wild riverboat captain to attack an enemy warship they face unnaturally bloodthirsty parasites and their own budding romance in stunning Africanesque Technicolor. Watch the trailer here, then click around for some more scenes.

Number 8 is Healing Inc. by Deneice P. Tarbox. Full disclosure – we haven’t read this one, and the publisher’s description is a bit convoluted – but the cover is doing all kinds of things right.

At number 7, Gito L’ingrat by Léonce Ngabo. Virile White men and their delicate counterparts aren’t the only ones finding romance in Africa. Meet Gito, a talented and ambitious Burundi student who goes to Paris to get a sophisticated accent and a cabinet post back. He meets a French woman, falls in love, and promises to send for her as soon as he gets set up at home. But then, it takes a long time to find a job, and soon sparks are flying with his childhood sweetheart. Everything is going fine until the European girlfriend shows up. She is charmed by his rural family life and his parents are happy to have her stay. When two girlfriends find out about each other Gito is taught a lesson he won’t soon forget. Rent the movie for $5 here.

Every Dark Desire by Fiona Zedde is number 6.  This popular Jamaican lesbian vampire erotica is not strictly set in Africa, but we’re glad to see that Twilight has been written better and without the predatory nobleman.

From the author’s website:

When a sensual encounter under the full moon transforms her into one of the immortal undead, Naomi McElroy, now known as Belle, is trained in the ways of the vampire as she spends her days with her new family, an ancient clan that opens new doors of erotic pleasure for her to explore.

Read the first chapter here.

Number 5 is Zulu Heart by Steven Barnes. From the publisher:

A Novel of Slavery and Freedom in an Alternate America.  Generations ago, ships from Egypt and Ethiopia sailed west to the New World, bearing African colonists and savage European slaves. But the settlers in the proud young land of Bilalistan are not free from the conflicts of the motherland …

Buy your copy on Black Books Direct.

Number 4: Libyan Lust by James Orr. The popular British romance novelist takes taken his political romance novels to the Arab Spring. From the publisher: “James is sent to Libya, North Africa. He finds the Libyans are looking for fun, freedom and sex.”

Libyan Lust is 197 pages of hot gay sex. The first seven pages are full of charming factoids about Libya’s population and history to orient the reader. On page eight our narrator has sex with a guy who works at the hotel:

He stood very close to where I sat and began to turn the pages. From where I was sitting I was at eye level with his crotch. I waited with halted breath trying to detect any movement in his trousers.

Then it happened there was a sudden jump next to his zipper followed by several more. His cock had started to grow. Within seconds, what appeared to be his large cock was fully erect, causing an obscene bulge in his trousers.

“You seem to like the magazine,” I said, unsure of his knowledge of English.

He looked down at me and smiled seductively then looked at his crotch.

Bonus: Orr writes other hot gay sex scenes in such exotic locations as Burma, Egypt, England, The Fertile Crescent, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, and Thailand.

Another solid option in this genre, The Lower River by Paul Theroux:

Ellis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa. He runs an old-fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden, the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps, cut short when he had to return to take over the family business. When his wife leaves him, and he is on his own, he realizes that there is one place for him to go: back to his village in Malawi, on the remote Lower River, where he can be happy again.

Arriving at the dusty village, he finds it transformed: the school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people. They remember him—the White Man with no fear of snakes—and welcome him. But is his new life, his journey back, an escape or a trap?

Number 3 is the film, Coup de Torchon, by Bernard Tavernier.  The title translates as Clean Slate and the film is adapted from Jim Thompson’s 1964 pulpy Pop. 1280. Lucien Cordier is a chief of police who can’t get any respect in a French West Africa town. His wife berates him and he can’t control the unsavory activities of either Black criminal agents or lazy, sexy White people. But a man can only take so much before he becomes an angel of vengeance.  Watch the trailer on IMDB.

Number 2 is The Open Door by Latifa al-Zayyat.  Nationalists usually love women symbolically, but this is a more thoughtful and sexy account of changing sexual mores in revolutionary mid-century Egypt. Layla’s father is humiliated when his daughter starts menstruating and vows to marry her off to her cousin. She becomes active in the Suez Canal war in 1956, and gains the courage to call off her conventional engagement to pursue another kind of relationship with a revolutionary colleague.

And at number one, is In Darkest Africa by JJ Argus. There’s the book’s cover and then there’s the publisher’s description:

Kristin is an ambitious and studious California grad student in archeology delighted at being allowed to accompany a dig searching Ethiopia for a lost palace. But disaster strikes, trapping all the other members of her expedition in a cave-in. Only Kristin is left alive, with very little water, in a small cave on the edge of the desert. Dehydrated and barely conscious, she is found by primitive Ethiopian tribesmen who see in her beautiful golden hair and flawless white skin, the chance for great profits for their poor village. Using ancient tribal potions and skilled caresses, keeping her dehydrated and suggestive, the villagers careful treatment condition her body and mind to helpless, incredible pleasure. Unable to communicate with the backward villagers, naked and helpless, Kristin gives herself to a pleasure so intense her mind can hardly stand it. Sapped of her will to resist, she is slowly turned into a sexual slave, a carnal creature of uninhibited sexuality and lust, and eventually sold to a local trader for transport to the distant city and its decadent princes.

Buy your copy on Amazon, Modern Erotic Library doesn’t seem to have its own site.

Further Reading

Between two evils

After losing its parliamentary majority for the first time, the African National Congress is scrambling to form a coalition government. The options are bleak.

Heeding the call

At the 31st New York African Film Festival, young filmmakers set the stage with adventurous and varied experiments in African cinema.