Robert Coates – A Succinct Biography

For an unknown and probably quite mundane reason my computer is full of pictures of my little brother and not of my good self.

So this biography, written to provide the good folks over at africanoralhistory.port.ac.uk something to put in their ‘About us’ column, might well have to portray me in reference to him…

This is Chris:

chris surf

He is surfing on a longboard that can be found, with a small ding in the nose, in our garage.  Alongside that surfboard you will not find my bike because it was ruthlessly stolen from Chi train station on a  wintry, windy night a couple of years ago.  I have never forgiven the man responsible, or regained my faith in the police, who proved themselves to be inept and unwilling to help the little guy.  I am still bike-less to this day.

As you can probably see from the photograph, Chris has a rather aquiline nose and brownish hair.  I too share these features, but I am slightly taller.  I look horrendous in a wetsuit, unlike Chris, although I assure you his leg isn’t normally that shape.

Chris, here, is pursuing his dream.  He now works at a very reputable surf shop in the surfing Mecca of Bude in North Cornwall.  I, too, have pursued a dream, although mine is of a more academical variety.  I am a Masters student at the prestigious University of Portsmouth, and I am interested in all kinds of Francophone Africa stuff – from the de Brazza memorial in the Congo (for a song, which I’ve found too late for my essay, click here…) to the Tirailleurs Sénégalais in World War II and beyond! While I do not have anything published yet, neither does my brother. It is only a matter of time.  For either of us.

Until then, I can tell you all you need to know about paint and light bulbs.

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