In Striving for the Wind, Meja Mwanji paints an emotional portrait of the inequality, the injustice and poverty exists between the rich and poor but which are often taken for granted in most societies. Like most of Mwangi’s books, this one is also written in a hilarious manner, the expressions used will have the reader laughing with every turn of the page.
Set in Kenya during the colonial period, Mwangi’s Carcase for Hounds, published in 1974 by Heinmann, is a typical revolution gone bad story. The story centres on General Haraka, a former village chief turned Mau Mau warrior and Captain George Kingsley who is after him.
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.
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.
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.