Between Gorillas, My Mother, Her Dreams and Me, A Memoir 

Author:  Edwin Sabuhoro

With Maribeth Shanley

 

          Three-plus years ago, I traveled to Rwanda, Africa, to meet with Edwin Sabuhoro, for whom I was asked to, as his ghostwriter, help him write a publishable memoir of his life in Africa.  While in Rwanda and Uganda, his mother's birthplace, I  interacted with  his family members, and a few of his former fellow employees and had the incredible experience of sitting with the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountain Range that spans Rwanda , Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

         I met Edwin on Facebook soon after the murder of Cecil the Lion; the most studied lion by Oxford University.   A wealthy dentist and trophy hunter from the U.S. murdered Cecil during a trophy hunting expedition.  Severely wounding Cecil, he suffered for over twenty-four hours as he lay dying when the dentist found him and finished the job.  When I read several of Edwin's comments on the sites dedicated to the event, I immediately knew Edwin was an extraordinary human being.  I was right.

            One evening, while texting with him on FB messenger, I learned that he was a 1965 CNN Hero of the Year for having saved a baby gorilla from being poached and sold into the black market.  Edwin posed as a wealthy Texan as he trekked up the mountainside with his complete Texas cowboy outfit, including a pair of new and stiff cowboy boots, to meet with the poachers.  His bravery in putting himself in danger of being physically harmed was impressive enough.  However, I was more impressed with what he did later.  

            Feeling guilty for sending several impoverished young men to prison for their participation in conducting the sale, he worked to free them from incarceration.  He  then helped them to learn how to make a crime-free, legitimate living.  While in Rwanda, I met several of the now-reformed poachers. Several of them were building homes for their families and sending their children to school, including college.  

         Edwin's entire life was a remarkable journey and adventure as he honed his moral compass to become a kind, compassionate, and active conservationist.  Edwin's mother played a significant role in Edwin's development.  A single mother of five children as she struggled to feed her children , she was an extraordinary human being in her own right.  

             Edwin's memoir, Between Gorillas, My Mother, Her Dreams, and Me, is nothing less than and monumental success.  As a child, Edwin was a brave, bold and determined individual.  Now teaching at Penn State, I fully expect that Edwin will accomplish much in his life, including helping many of our now-endangered animal species from extinction and helping other individuals trapped by their impoverished existence in the world of crime.

           I recall not only my impressions of Edwin via social media but how impressed I was when I met  him face-to-face while he was earning his Ph.D. at Clemson University.  I felt like I was in the presence of a Nelson Mandela type of individual.  My sense was confirmed when a kitchen worker at the restaurant where Edwin and I ate lunch, came from the kitchen to meet him.  I mentioned to our server who Edwin was.  The server then communicated his knowledge to the kitchen workers.  One of the workers jumped on the Internet, googled Edwin Sabuhoro and read what was said about Edwin.  When the kitchen workers came out to meet Edwin and have their photos with Edwin taken, one of them said, "You remind me of Nelson Mandela."  His comment gave me goosebumps.

           Edwin's Memoir will be out shortly.  It is in the hands of Dorrance Publishing, the oldest full-service publishing company in the U.S.  They are working hard to publish Edwin's Memoir in hardback, complete with numerous photos that will enrich your reading of Edwin's life.  Africa is a great Continent.  It is the 'only' Continent I have wanted to see, mainly because of it is the birthplace of Homo sapiens and the many iconic animals on our planet.

            Watch my site for the announcement of his Memoir, as it will become available on amazon.com and in all they major book stores.  Edwin will also tour major markets as he discusses and signs copies of his Memoir.