Kenyan author Stanley Gazemba is best known for his book, The Stone Hills of Maragoli, which won Kenya’s top literary prize, the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature in 2003. He is currently a regional editor with an organization called Music in Africa (www.themusicinafricaproject.net) and a content specialist with www.kwetuu.com – a website that plans to sell short stories and poems as downloads to people’s phones. In this interview with Africa Book Club, he talks about his childhood and his writing.
Published by Imbada in 2008, Stanley Gazemba’s “Grandmother’s Winning Smile” is a gripping tale about the challenges many children in today’s Kenya are facing to access education and improve their lot. The future looks particularly sombre for Gazemba’s main character Kinuthia, when his father leaves the household and gets lost in the anonymity of Nairobi, the faraway capital city. The man sold their cow before escaping, the milk of which was their only reliable source of income. The boy is left alone with his grandmother.