Since the closure in 2008 of the excellent Angus and Robertson store in Goldfields Plaza, Gympie has been bereft of a great bookshop. With the advent of Twiga Books, those days are now well and truly over!
Proprietor Roger Broadley is an unusual man: he became an agricultuaral scientist despite his strongest subject at school being English! Educated in Nairobi (close to the equator in Kenya, East Africa), his love of reading and writing was inspired by a young teacher, Mr David Hogge, who imbued in all his students an abiding love and respect for the printed word. Hogge’s height towered above everyone at the school, earning him the delightfully apt nickname, ‘Twiga’, the Swahili word for giraffe, the tallest of all animals. How, then, could Roger have named the bookshop anything other than ‘Twiga Books’ or had a logo other than a giraffe?
Roger Broadley, the Proprietor of Twiga Books, was a research scientist with the Queensland Government for 12 years, a banana grower at Mena Creek near Innisfail for 12 years, and is joint owner of Toyworld in Gympie, (for ever!). The elusive age of retirement has not settled on Roger – hence the establishment of Twiga Books. His favourite genres are biographies and travel books.
Roger’s wife, Lorraine, is the co-owner at Toyworld – right next door to the bookshop. She gained an arts degree majoring in French and English and taught for a few years on the Atherton Tableland before marrying Roger and having a family. Her input into the overall strategy and operations of Twiga Books is both significant and valuable. For light reading she loves the likes of Di Morrissey and Maeve Binchy, plus self help type books.
With 40+ years’ experience as a teacher and in retail – and even more as a reader of diverse literary genres – our Senior Assistant, Sue Spork, is eminently qualified to provide the unique Twiga Books service. When it comes to our complimentary gift-wrapping service, there are few, if any, to out-do her. She has wide tastes in literature, and particularly enjoys historical novels, philosophy, economics, arts and crafts, and gardening.
Our artistic and tech savvy part-time assistant, Noni, has the expertise to handle Facebook and other social media. She loves reading ‘romantic novels’. She has a bright and outgoing personality.
So, all in all, our staff are well read indeed, over a wide variety of subjects.
Handy phrases in Kiswahili for anyone intending to travel in East Africa at any time.
Jambo Hi, Hello, G’day
Kwaheri So long, Good-bye, Au revoir
Keshu Tomorrow, Keshu, kutwa, The day after tomorrow
Bado kidogo Soon little (really means ‘pretty soon’, Kenyan equivalent to “manana” which is owned by Spain)
Pesi pesi Fast
Bwana Kidogo Master Little
Bwana Mkubwa Master Large (man of the house)
Bwana Mzee Master Old (ageing has been)
Wazungu White people
Watu Native (black) people
Punda malaya Donkey striped, or zebra
Nyanya Monkey, ape
Ngombe Cow, steer
Memsahib Lady of the house
Memsahib mzuri Lady nice
Mbwa khaliDog fierce, or watch dog
These adjectives have been interchanged, so you can end up with “mbwa mzuri” and “memsahib khali” frequently evokes mirth and occasionally anger, depending on your viewpoint
Maji moto water hot
Maji baridi water cold
Maji baridi askari water cold askari (affectionate moniker earned by the”Cold Stream Guard” sent to Kenya to reinforce the local troops during the MauMau Emergency 1952 to 1956