Why has development in the third world been so slow, so tedious, and so unsustainable? The lamentable tale of Keli Alili gives us an insight. Keli is living in two worlds, both of them very real. As the learned and much-travelled Deputy Director at the Foreign Ministry, he is every bit a man of the modern world. But as a favorite son of Alaku, his traditional village, he cannot escape the incessant tug of traditional society and traditional values. He has to constantly juggle the conflicting demands of these two worlds, and of the endemic corruption in Zunguzonga, his country. The story further explores issues of traditional religion, justice, indigenous languages, food aid, the debt trap, marriage, gender, and the role of age in traditional society. This is an engaging multicultural story woven around profound issues that impact sustainable development.