Airborne to Africa is a poetry book full of colour, culture, diversity, unity and humanity. Poet, Jim Bailey travelled the African continent as if it were his oyster and these poems are a string of pearls of wisdom, and joy amongst peels of laughter and peeks into his mysterious mind.
This collection is a glimpse into the colour and culture of Africa through the words of one of her greatest admirers, Jim Bailey, poet, publisher, pilot, author and founder of Drum Magazine. Jim Bailey’s life was extraordinary. He lived both sides of the same coin. After he nearly lost his life as a fighter pilot in the Second World War on many occasions, Jim discovered a deep love in the culture of Africa, the various communities, the carnival life, jazz music and salt of the earth people.
"I hope the poets eye, cast across the continent, will restore once more that wondrous vision.” Jim Bailey
This collection documents Africa at a time before, during and after independence, and is deeply insightful from a mythological, philosophical and social perspective. It is a posthumous collection that holds a tremendous amount of wisdom and valuable African insights for the reader. Airborne to Africa is a poetry book full of colour, culture, diversity, unity and humanity. Poet, Jim Bailey travelled the African continent as if it were his oyster and these poems are a string of pearls of wisdom, and joy amongst peels of laughter and peeks into his mysterious mind. Photographic images of musical voyages through Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Ougadougou, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Tangier , Maputo, Durban and Cape Town are added.
This Photographic and Poetry book is the posthumous collection of a life lived with joy and honesty, resonant with the pearls of wisdom of a great journey through Africa's university of life. “Full of colour, culture, diversity, unity and humanity in words and photographs."
"In the last few years of his life, he became my friend and mentor. I was first year out of school and he in the last few years of his life, yet together we enjoyed the street life, restaurants, cafe's, dancing good times and the multi-cultural enthusiasm of the post 94 era. I became his editor in one sense, and companion in another. We walked, talked, traveled and ate together. And I listened and listened, soaking up the memories, realisations, stories, humility and humanity. The bags that hung beneath his eyes told of a life lived long and hard, but he had anageless nature, beyond time. He did not see colour or class. He saw integrity and love. He made a life-changing impact on me with his powerful knowledge of Africa and the African ancestors. Bailey died in the year 2000, on leap day, several months shy of his 80th birthday. I was left with the manuscript we were working on. The manuscript contained two previously unpublished volumes: The New South Africa and the friends around her, written under the pseudonym, H.M Stanley Jnr and Airborne to Africa. Drum Magazine images by unidentified photographers are added with gratitude to the Drum photographs to the New South Africa, whilst images from my own travels around Africa are added to Airborne to Africa." Struan Douglas