A virtual book talk! Join us for a conversation with RPCV Dr. Jack Allison as he discusses his new memoir The Warm Heart of Africa (Peace Corps Writers, 2020). Please visit the link to register for the event!
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi in 1967, Jack Allison never expected that the little “jingle” he wrote to promote protein for child nutrition would become the number one hit on the country's only radio station
With its surf-guitar beat, “Ufa Wa Mtedza” (The Peanut Butter Song) proved to be not only an effective way to spread a social message, but a great way to raise awareness and funds for development projects.
Allison’s uncommon memoir recounts a time in US and post-colonial history in Southern Africa when the Peace Corps was still young and the region was at a crossroads. Allison himself was at a crossroads, too, trying to decide between a career in ministry and medicine. Ultimately, he chose the latter, and went on to a successful four-decade career in emergency medicine, including serving as Chief of Staff at two VA hospitals.
But he never stopped revisiting Malawi and other nations, providing medical care in Haiti in January 2010, and Kenya, Somalia, Malawi and Zambia in 2012. He also never stopped writing music. Allison has written over 115 songs and jingles and has recorded over 100 of those, including (most recently) a song to promote safety precautions to combat COVID-19.
All proceeds from The Warm Heart of Africa go to charities in Malawi and the US. You can purchase the book here.