Tsavo The Money-Eaters – Book 5 by Braz Menezes

Tsavo The Money-Eaters – Book 5

Ghosts of Greed in Kenya

Lando's innovative design for the TSAVO Man-Eaters Motel, inspired by John H. Patterson's 1907 novel "The Man Eaters of Tsavo", was abandoned in mid-construction in the 1970s. 'Ghost Directors' had plundered the funds.

In 1967, Lando returned following his Commonwealth Scholarship in the UK, determined to help his beautiful Kenya. Low local salaries were inadequate in an expatriate-dominated rental market.

Lando, forever optimistic and willing to take risks, starts his own business. Nothing, however, had prepared Lando and his English wife Eleanor for the roller-coaster ride that lay ahead. Political, financial, and family crises appear out of nowhere.

Despite this, the firm became known for professional competence and integrity, attracting young architects to join his team.  Many commissions for large projects follow – now household names -- like Buru Buru Township, Loresho North and Loresho Estates; Mathare Mental Hospital; Kenya Technical Teachers College and UNEP in Gigiri, among others.

When foiling a minister's plot, Lando narrowly escapes instant deportation, risking the 'institution' he has developed over a decade. He must act fast. A ‘White Knight’ ensures his staff’s job security.

In 1975, a third political assassination takes place. Lando and Eleanor conclude that endemic corruption has engulfed paradise. It has become too much of a personal challenge to bear. They must make a new home for their young family. Beautiful Canada welcomes them.



A truly satisfying read, the author tells the story of a young married couple bringing up a family in a 20th century new African Republic beset by assassination and corruption. I could not put it down.

23 Dec 2023

Braz Menezes writes a wonderful summary of his family's life and challenges running an Architectural firm in Kenya during the 1970s. When prosperity looked promising for affordable housing programs and other infrastructure projects, corruption robbed the country of a better future driving talent out of the country. This is Braz's 5th book about his life's story...it can be read alone or with the others with equal entertainment.

26 Dec 2023

I just finished Braz’s final book “Tsavo -The Money Eaters”. What an adventure!  Braz’s life as a son, father, mentor, husband, architect, and office manager were rocked by corrupt government officials. His persistence was amazing, always bouncing back from near disaster! President Coolidge had a quote that fits. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”. Calvin Coolidge – 30th President.

Bob Peterman
06 Jan 2024

Tsavo is a book written at a time of political changes in Kenya - East Africa. Braz and his young family somehow have to bear with it all, for a while at least and figure out how and where a brighter future may unfold at this unsettling time, he risks all and opens his own firm of Architectural practice MMI in Nairobi, it takes off well and the many solid friendships with people he has made have acted as a backbone of strength to him and his family to count on.  They all love the life they have now, but also see a life changing move low on the horizon.  Tsavo is a beautifully written book about the sights and scenes one can find in the game reserves of Africa a book rich in every aspect of a story well told.

Denis Pimenta
11 Jan 2024

This is the fifth book in the Matata series and is a very different book from the earlier titles. Gone is the optimism and hope that characterised these. We share instead   the determination of Lando to build, with his English wife Eleanor, a professional architectural and planning practice in Kenya. Initially in the post – independence boom that Nairobi enjoyed, as it competed to become one of Africa’s dominant cities, major commissions were secured. But with these came demands from the political elite for favours and donations. Lando was having none of this but as a consequence narrowly escaped instant deportation.

Deciding that the only way to secure any prospect of a stable future for the firm. Lando takes a local partner. He too has to navigate the muddy waters of local politics, made worse by a series of political assassinations. Reluctantly Lando decides that for the future sake of his family emigration to Canada, where his younger brother is already settled, is now an urgent priority. The book ends with the family on the plane bound for their new country.

This is a brave book that exposes the racism and corruption that Lando faces building up his business. It is a fascinating story but it has a bigger message. The huge loss to a developing nation of the skills and talent of a minority people loyal to the country but who can see no future for them there. It is a global lesson and Braz Menezes has chartered in a delightful way the huge contribution that the Goan diaspora – one of the least known– has made to the world.

Nigel Moor
18 Jan 2024

Once again, this 5th in the Matata series does not disappoint. The writer captures the spirit of post-colonial Kenya with his keen insight and engaging storytelling, leading the reader through one crisis after another in this beautiful land that was once stable and promising.  Lando, the writer’s alter-ego, returns to his homeland after his studies in the UK, determined to live a happily ever-after life in beautiful Kenya. He intends to start his own architectural firm and give back to this land that he loved. Through the pages of TSAVO-THE MONEY EATERS, I was transported to a time and place that I held, and still do, hold dear. The street names, the hotels and game lodges, the landmarks, all made me yearn for that once idyllic tropical haven. This fascinating page-turner transports the reader onto the vibrant vast plains of the African savannah teeming with unimaginable wildlife.

Life, however, after Independence is not what our protagonist expected. We travel with Lando who overcomes each twist and turn on his journey of survival in a land that has become unfamiliar in its upheaval and instability. Lando reveals his intrinsic spirit of guts and determination as he tackles each trial that presents itself on this rocky road. He overcomes all adversity with grace, humour and his customary easy-going temperament.  Lando gradually uncovers the underbelly of evil that has crept in, post-Independence. In this evocative tale, the writer unearths the political and social turbulence that permeates Kenyan life. He takes us on a journey that reveals the insidious explosion of bribery and corruption, which seems to have infiltrated every facet of the social and political scene.

Heart-warming was the thread of a strong family life. Lando’s commune with his father, his siblings, the lovely Eleanor and his three beautiful daughters exemplifies his deep devotion to family, a trait which is clearly inspiring and endearing. In the end, after his dad’s sad demise, and because of the unstable political situation, he must leave this country he called home. A daunting and wrenching decision, but one carried out with his characteristic good humour and courage. This is paradise lost for Lando, as he finally cuts ties and bids farewell to everything he once held dear.

To the writer, Mr. Menezes, I would offer the consolation that Kenya’s loss is most definitely Canada’s gain. I have thoroughly enjoyed all five books in this series and eagerly look forward to the publication of his next book.

Joan do Rosario
20 Jan 2024

I loved your book, Braz. I am so pleased to have found it. You describe Tsavo – The Money-Eaters as Creative Non-Fiction. That’s true. Your story overlaps my own experience in Kenya by a few years; I recognise the spirit of adventure and challenge in newly independent Kenya. I also knew a number of the people – entrepreneurial, creative and evil – whose characters you encapsulate so well. I knew most of Lando’s architectural projects that are so well described in the book, as being among the best that the world still has to offer.

The book reads as smoothly as a good novel. You perfectly capture the atmosphere of a young patriarch wanting to protect his family members, and trying to create a built environment which captures the innocence of a beautiful country, while surrounded by growing problems of widespread greed and in a backdrop of shades of colonialism. At the same time, Lando (could he be related to you, Braz?) succeeds in facing up to many of the challenges offered in his adopted country.

This is a story of corruption and hardship in a new country, and of well-earned success. Tsavo – The Money-Eaters leaves its readers with the knowledge that, despite everything, we have been in the company of good people.

22 Jan 2024

This is the fifth in a largely autobiographical series of books by Braz Menezes about the life of Lando, who was born in Kenya to a family that had originated in Goa. The author's love of Kenya shines through with beautiful descriptions of the gardens and the wildlife. Menezes provides detailed descriptions of Lando's professional experiences, how his creativity and love of the natural beauty made him a unique and successful architectural planner in a developing country that was newly independent and brimming with possibilities. The author thoroughly documents the hard work involved in building an architectural firm in Kenya, and then the growing disappointment as he observed the spreading corruption in the country he loved. The sadness Lando felt when he and his family made the decision to leave Kenya and resettle in Canada will ring true for readers who, at some point in their lives, have made a similar decision.

Leah Lambert
02 Feb 2024

Matata Books

Tsavo The Money-Eaters – Book 5
Soul Searching in the Seychelles – Book 4
Among the Jacaranda – Book 3
More Matata – Book 2
Beyond the Cape – Book 1
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