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Mohamed Kamara

full-time writer and biochemist by training, was born in Porédaka, in the Mamou region of central Guinea on 1 July 1947. He is from the nomadic and cattle-loving Fulbe people. Monénembo’s parents divorced when he was only five. His father was an “African doctor” in Bobo-Dioulasso, in the then French Upper Volta, today Burkina Faso. His mother moved to Sierra Leone to live with her new husband. Tierno Monénembo was thus left to be raised by his grandmother, among uncles and other relatives.

Born Thierno Saïdou Diallo, he received his pen name probably by combining the Fulbe word for grandmother, nenembo, with that for grandson, moné. After his primary school education, Monénembo left his village for middle school in N’Zérékoré and Kankan. From there, he went to Kindia and Conakry to attend high school. In 1969 he earned his baccalaureate with a concentration in biology The ...