Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir, published in 2012 by Pantheon books follows on from Dreams in A Time of War: A Child hood Memoir. It covers the years at Alliance High School from 1955 to 1959. These are the years of the Mau Mau liberation struggle. A young Ngugi returns to a desolate landscape. All has been torn down and people crammed into a concentration village next to a home guard post.
The days of affliction that were the emergency period during the Mau Mau uprising in 1950’s Kenya form the setting for Njeri Kibui’s Days of Affliction. Published in 2010 by Author House, the novel follows the fortunes of Kamau, his daughter Wamaitha and son Mwangi who are touched by the violence of the day in […]
Poetry in Motion is a collection of narrative poetry composed by Mulumba Ivan Matthias that takes us , by section, through “Rhythm and Rhymes” to view “Cakes and Candles” while puzzling out the “Riddles of Fortune” and experience the the pain and pleasure of “Thorns and Roses” before coming to “The Gospel Truth”. It is a journey through the reflections and observations of a number of voices.
Dreams in A Time Of War (by Ngugi wa Thiong’o) starts in a hopeful place. Hopeful for a reason not too obvious at the start. After a day fighting hunger pangs at Kinyogori Intermediate School, Ngugi and Kenneth Mbugua, a classmate, take the longer six mile route home past the Limuru Bata Shoe factory. At a crossroads they are drawn into a crowd discussing the daring escape of a nameless man arrested close by. The crowd disputes the events and breaks up into groups. The nameless man turns out to be Wallace Mwangi also known as Good Wallace. Good Wallace is Ngugi’s brother and a Kenya Land and Freedom Army supplier. So begins a riveting memoir about growing up in colonial Kenya in a time of social, economic, world and anti-colonial war.
Published in 2009 by Hurst Publishers, Gerard Prunier’s book is not just another contemporary history of an African conflict. It questions popular thinking, reviews a number of sources, places the conflict in the context of its time, and is engagingly written. Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe stretches its core narrative from the aftermath of the 1994 Rwanda genocide to after the 2007 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo .
In Darfur: A New History of A Long War (published in 2008 by Zed Books), Julie Flint and Alex De Waal provide a surprisingly accessible account of how the Sudan government, Islamists, the British colonial enterprise, Arab Supremacists and Cold War politics fanned the occasional flares of local conflicts already made worse by climate change.
First published in 2006 by Zed Books, in association with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, the book looks at xenophobia in Southern Africa, and what informs it. The author, a professor of anthropology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, brings his considerable knowledge and insights to bear on the subject.
Gorillas in the Mist is Dian Fossey’s account of her 16 years studying and living among mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the Congo. She documents her experiences in first person, mixing self effacing anecdotes with a narrative filled with technical clarity, humor, fascinating insight, and a touching sympathy for wildlife. And while she does extensively cover the lives of several groups of gorillas, down to the minutest details, she also brings into focus the attitudes of the people that interact with these animals, and the effects of poaching in Africa’s early post colonial years.
Rabble Rouser for Peace is the authorized biography of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the retired primate of the Anglican Church in South Africa – a man with a distinguished record in pastoral ministry and a sometimes controversial record as a hero in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle.
In his book, Aids Activist Alex De Waal, questions why, despite its devastation, Aids isn’t top of the agenda for each and every government on the continent? How do governments treat the scourge, he asks?