Go Tell the Crocodiles

Chasing Prosperity in Mozambique

In the tradition of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, an unforgettable exploration of the disturbing daily lives behind the scenes in Mozambique, Africa’s former “rising star”

“Mozambique, one of the world’s fastest growing economies for much of the past decade, admitted . . . that its debt levels are unsustainable.”
The Guardian, October 2016

Over the past twenty years, Mozambique has experienced steeper economic growth than China, making it among the fastest-growing economies on the planet. But most Mozambicans have little to show for the nation’s prosperity; to travel in Mozambique is to see much of the promise of development as a mirage. And in the fall of 2016, a sudden debt crisis gripped the nation, heralding what many in the financial world feared might be the beginning of a “global financial shockwave” (The Guardian).

Go Tell the Crocodiles explores the efforts of ordinary people to provide for themselves where foreign aid, the formal economy, and the government have fallen short. Author Rowan Moore Gerety tells the story of contemporary Mozambique through the heartbreaking and fascinating lives of real people, from a street kid who flouts Mozambique’s child labor laws to make his living selling muffins to a community that struggles with frequent crocodile attacks. Gerety introduces us to a nation struggling with mercenaries, refugees, infectious disease, human smuggling, child labor, warlords, and political corruption, weaving stories together into a stunning broader account of the challenges facing Africa and all developing nations.