It’s our turn to eat” tells the story of John Githongo, a friend of the author, who served as Kenya’s top anti-corruption official, under the government of President Mwai Kibaki in the late 90s.
Renowned author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o delivers a compelling story of greed, love, corruption, sorcery, selfishness, betrayal, power and the urge to dominate others.
First published in 2007 by Anchor, Wizard of the Crow is about a fictional country, Aburiria which is ruled by an autocratic leader known as ‘The Ruler’.
First published in 1979, The Cockroach Dance is the dramatic story of one man’s fight against injustice and corrupt systems. From the first sentence, “the Bathroom Man’s child was wailing his lungs sick…………..in a malicious conspiracy with the world, the gods had burdened the impoverished mechanic with a mentally-handicapped offspring…’’, the reader is mesmerized.
Karen Blixen moved to Kenya in 1914, and spent almost twenty years in that country. By many measures, her life in Africa was a failure. She was bankrupted; got divorced; caught a serious venereal disease; and lost her lover in a plane crash. However, Blixen clearly loved the country of Kenya very deeply, and OUT OF AFRICA is primarily a record of that love affair.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Matigari tells the story of a former Mau Mau fighter who returns to his land ready to lay down his weapons and ‘trade them for the belt of peace.’ Determined to rebuild his home, and start a new life, his life instead becomes a search for peace and justice. He finds that despite gaining independence, his people are still dispossessed and being exploited by their corrupt leaders.
Written in 1976, Going Down River Road remains a masterpiece of contemporary fiction that grapples with dangers that come with urbanisation under the umbrella of development. It is a story that follows Ben Wachira and his friend Ochola as they compete for survival with the rest of humanity in Nairobi.
Edkin’s book, Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of the Empire in Kenya, is the product of nearly a decade’s research. It paints a picture of British colonial rule in Kenya that is deeply at odds with the supposed colonial mission to pacify and civilize the African indigenous people.
Wangari Maathai is a woman of the ‘firsts’. She was the first African woman to earn a PHD and to head a University Department in her native Kenya, and she later became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Published in 2007 by William Heinmann, Unbowed: One Woman’s Story is Maathai’s account of her life journey.
Mwangi focuses on the suffering that the poor go through daily. Lack of housing, inadequate food, low wages and exploitation are some of the issues covered. One would think that this is a rather sad tale, but Meja’s talent is evident in the way he portrays serious situations in a funny way- the reader can’t help but laugh through some of the scenarios created.
In this autobiography, Kariuki reflects on his fifty years in Kenyan politics, the ups and downs, and what he perceives to be his contribution. Ultimately, the book is an interesting and important commentary on Kenya’s political history – though somewhat biased given that it’s told from one man’s perspective.