African Interest

African Interest

  • The Swahili World by Stephanie Wynne Jones and Adria LaViolette

    The Swahili World by Stephanie Wynne Jones and Adria LaViolette

    Ksh 33999

    Brief Summary The Swahili World presents the fascinating story of a major world civilization, exploring the archaeology, history, linguistics, and anthropology of the Indian Ocean coast of Africa. It covers a 1,500-year sweep of history, from the first settlement of the coast to the complex urban tradition found there today. Swahili towns contain monumental palaces, tombs, and mosques, set among more humble houses; they were home to fishers, farmers, traders, and specialists of many kinds. The towns have been Muslim since perhaps the eighth century CE, participating in international networks connecting people around the Indian Ocean rim and beyond. Successive colonial regimes have helped shape modern Swahili society, which has incorporated such influences into the region’s long-standing cosmopolitan tradition. This is the first volume to explore the Swahili in chronological perspective. Each chapter offers a unique wealth of detail on an aspect of the region’s past, written by the leading scholars on the subject. The result is a book that allows both specialist and non-specialist readers to explore the diversity of the Swahili tradition, how Swahili society has changed over time, as well as how our understandings of the region have shifted since Swahili studies first began. Scholars of the African continent will find the most nuanced and detailed consideration of Swahili culture, language and history ever produced. For readers unfamiliar with the region or the people involved, the chapters here provide an ideal introduction to a new and wonderful geography, at the interface of Africa and the Indian Ocean world, and among a people whose culture remains one of Africa’s most distinctive achievements.  

  • Control and crisis in colonial Kenya by Bruce J Berman

    Control and crisis in colonial Kenya by Bruce J Berman

    Ksh 2999

    Brief Summary Control and Crisis in Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic of Domination. This history of the political economy of Kenya is the first full length study of the development of the colonial state in Africa. Professor Berman argues that the colonial state was shaped by the contradictions between maintaining effective political control with limited coercive force and ensuring the profitable articulation of metropolitan and settler capitalism with African societies. This dialectic of domination resulted in both the uneven transformation of indigenous societies and in the reconstruction of administrative control in the inter-war period. The study traces the evolution of the colonial state from its skeletal beginnings in the 1890s to the complex bureaucracy of the post-1945 era which managed the growing integration of the colony with international capital. These contradictions led to the political crisis of the Mau Mau emergency in 1952 and to the undermining of the colonial state. The book is based on extensive primary sources including numerous interviews with Kenyan and British participants. The analysis moves from the micro-level of the relationship of the District Commissioners and the African population to the macro-level of the state and the political economy of colonialism. Professor Berman uses the case of Kenya to make a sophisticated contribution to the theory of the state and to the understanding of the dynamics of the development of modern African political and economic institutions.

  • Journey through Kenya by Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willets and Brian Tetley

    Journey through Kenya by Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willets and Brian Tetley

    Ksh 4999

    Brief Summary Colonized by the British for more than 50 years, ending with independence in 1963, Kenya draws visitors from all over the world to see its fascinating mixture of landscape, wildlife and people. The snows of Mount Kenya astride the equator, sixteen national parks and over 300 miles of silver-sanded coast make Kenya one of the great holiday resorts - with surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and big game fishing among the attractions which have lured such authors as Hemingway and Ruark. Blending historical fact with anecdote and imagery, and with an introduction by late film star William Holden, Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts' 150 color illustrations and Brian Tetley's text paint a vivid and exciting picture of an unforgettable nation.

  • Kenya A History Since Independence by Charles Hornsby

    Kenya A History Since Independence by Charles Hornsby

    Ksh 5999

    Brief Summary Since independence in 1963, Kenya has survived nearly five decades as a functioning nation-state, with regular elections, its borders intact, and without experiencing war or military rule. However, Kenya's independence has always been circumscribed by its failure to transcend its colonial past: its governments have failed to achieve adequate living conditions for most of its citizens and its politics have been fraught with controversy - illustrated most recently by the post-election protests and violence in 2007. The decisions of the early years of independence, and the acts of its leaders in the decades since - from Jomo Kenyatta, Tom Mboya, and Oginga Odinga to Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki - have changed the country's path in unpredictable ways, but key themes of conflicts remain: over land, tribalism - including the simmering Kikuyu-Luo rivalries - money, power, national autonomy, and the distribution of resources. The political elite's endless struggle for access to state resources has damaged Kenya's economy and the political exploitation of ethnicity still threatens the country's stability. In this definitive new history, Charles Hornsby demonstrates how independent Kenya's politics have been dominated by a struggle to deliver security, impartiality, efficiency, and growth, but how the legacies of the past have continued to undermine their achievement, making the long-term future of Kenya far from certain.

  • Washing the Negro white by Kwaku Adu Opako

    Washing the Negro white by Kwaku Adu Opako

    Ksh 3499

    Brief Summary WASHING THE NEGRO WHITE: The Evolution of Thinking on African Economic Development. "Washing the Negro White" addresses the idea-historical recapitulation of the negative image of the African, which in the western concept of progress since the 17th century has been the focal point of his redemptive reconstruction. The crucial epistemological phases of such reconstruction are the concept of the Great Chain of Being, by which the enslavement of Africans was theologically justified, the theory of social evolution, which provided the intellectual justification for the western racist and colonial domination of African people, and the current and post-colonial concepts of social modernization to strip Africans of their cultural identity and render them to exploitation in the global economic and financial system. The phases harbor not only the evolution of the so-called African development crisis, but also that of the developmental sciences, which, once before a handmaiden to colonial exploitation in Africa and without paradigm self-emancipation from their past origin, purport today to be keenly interested in African development. The transfer of the colonial concept of reality into the modern time is contained in the theory of social evolution, which in the post-colonial era still continues to provide the intellectual perspective of modern African development. The African crisis therefore sums up to the failure of the concept of reality of the developmental sciences, which, in the modern time continue to draw on the colonial paradigm in redressing the problems of African development deriving from colonialism. In the colonial period African development was equated to colonial development. The transfer of a colonial concept of reality into the post-colonial era, through the social evolutionary continuum of cultural tradition and cultural modernity, must accentuate the problems of African development that have their origin in colonialism. In the concept of social modernization, African development is viewed as before to be how to dismantle the socio-cultural phenomena on the continent, to be replaced by a pale copy from the former colonial masters. The disastrous consequence of post-colonial modernization is that the strategies evolve around a formula according to which developed is that which is modern and modern is that which is imported. This formula encapsulates the African crisis in all its dimensions. With the African developmental landscape reduced to an experimental field for alien ideas and concepts, development bypass the cultural reality of the continent and reduce the majority of the African population to become passive onlookers in the process. A development adapted to African cultural traditions and way of life has therefore been aborted and the colonial psychological complex of inferiority-superiority has been substituted for and intensified by the new concept of cultural tradition-modernity. The economic, social and political ramifications sum up to the African crisis, which is not likely to be minimized owing to the exogenously dominated framework of African development. The salutary message for the African continent is obvious. Over the long period of its intrusion into the continent, the western concept of progress has victimized Africans and rendered them vulnerable in a hostile global system. Unless Africans redefined and filled the content of their development with adequate consideration for the cultural reality on the continent, the so-called African crisis will persist and intensify to threaten the very existence and survival of Africans.

  • South Sudan The State We Aspire to by Peter Adwok Nyaba

    South Sudan The State We Aspire to by Peter Adwok Nyaba

    Ksh 2799

    Brief Summary South Sudan: The State We Aspire To was conceived and written mid-2009, two years to the conduct of the referendum on self-determination. The comprehensive peace agreement provided the people of Southern Sudan’ this inalienable right after nearly five decades of conflict. Peter Adwok Nyaba incisively discusses the high expectations and hopes the people of southern Sudan had, mixed with anxiety that characterises the fluid and unpredictable nature of the interim period leading to independence of South Sudan in 2011, and hence the title. In this second edition of South Sudan: The State We Aspire To, written after the eruption of violence in December 2013, the events vindicated what the author correctly discussed the situation southern Sudan was in as being ‘on the horns of a great dilemma’ or the attitude of its leaders being ‘between treason and stupidity.’ It was inevitable that the internal crisis in The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) leadership and failure to pursue socioeconomic development commensurate with its liberation ideology would plunge the country into hell on earth. Nyaba’s prime objective in The State We Aspire To, is to provoke a debate, inside and outside the SPLM and South Sudan at large, on the political future of South Sudan. He argues that the SPLM top leadership, cadres and general membership are collectively responsible for what is happening to this young nation having willfully abandoned the ideals for which the South Sudanese people sacrificed in the wars of national liberation. “I have criticized the SPLM leadership for its dismal performance in GOSS over the last six years, and I really mean it. There is no justification whatsoever for this performance except that SLPM suffered from a congenital ailment which afflicted its leaders.” (Peter Adwok Nyaba)

  • We The Scarred by Mukoma Wa Ngugi

    We The Scarred by Mukoma Wa Ngugi

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s novel We, The Scarred, formerly known as Mrs Shaw, has today been revealed by its publisher Paivapo Publishers. Author, poet and academic Mukoma Wa Ngugi came into the African literary scene with the two novels Nairobi Heat and its sequel Killing Sahara (Black Star Nairobi). The two are crime fiction offerings featuring an African American police Detective Ishmael Fofona and Kenyan law enforcement badass David Odhiambo. You can read our reviews of Nairobi Heat and Killing Sahara (Black Star Nairobi). The writer has written many other things including the poetry collection Logotherapy (2016) and the nonfiction The Rise of African Novel (2018). In 2015, the author unleashed the Ohio University Press published novel Mrs Shaw about the fictional East African Kwatee Republic of the 1990s, its dictatorship about to fall, and its exiles preparing to return. We here at JamesMurua.com loved it and reviewed it for the Daily Nation here. The African rights for this book have been acquired by Paivapo Publishers who have opted to give the book the name We, The Scarred which really makes sense. Anyone who reads the novel will know that Mrs Shaw was not the central character in the title so it was really strange that this was its name.  The new cover of the title, designed by Shubnum Khan with graphics by Megan Ross, has been unveiled today and you can see it in its glory below.

  • Luo Girl from Infancy to Marriage by Simeon H Ominde

    Luo Girl from Infancy to Marriage by Simeon H Ominde

    Ksh 299

    Brief Summary With the exception of those women who move with their husbands to the towns, the majority of rural married women go through a period of living under the close supervision of their mothers-in-law. The duration of this time depends on the mutual feeling between wife and mother-in-law. The married woman must learn everything possible about her new family. The mother-in-law tells her about the various sources of food and assists her to fit into her new life in the manner desired. Very often this involves unlearning certain things she has learnt at home. Among other things, she must learn the meal hours and individual tastes of those in the new family, and this brief probationary period gives character to her future relationship with them. At this time a mean woman is soon known by her behaviour; moreover, in the earlier stages of her married life a young wife is constantly accompanied by a companion who reports her general attitude to the family. Other women in the home may also send her on errands wherever they wish, the idea being to test her character in the communal life of women. Hence unpopularity would have a profound effect upon her, and through her, upon her husband. But although she is under the authority of her mother-in-law or someone occupying the same position, her mother-in-law's actions are also open to censure by the other women. The problem of fitting a wife into this new life is thus a family affair. Great importance is still attached to the traditional schooling of wives, but modern young women sometimes rebel against this ordered regime, choosing rather to do as they please in their new homes.  

  • 1000 Kikuyu Proverbs by G Barra

    1000 Kikuyu Proverbs by G Barra

    Ksh 499

    Brief Summary African love and traditions have over the years been kept alive through oral transmission from generation to generation.In 1000 Kikuyu Proverbs, each proverb is printed in Kikuyu, and then translated directly into English. In most cases the English equivalents of these Kikuyu proverbs have been given, in bold letters. This book will make very good readership and acts as an excellent source of material for Oral literature.

  • The Bribery Syndrome by Joe Khamisi

    The Bribery Syndrome by Joe Khamisi

    Ksh 2799

    Brief Summary The Bribery Syndrome: How Multinational Corporations Collude with Dictators to Raid Africa's Natural Resources. A shocking narration of how global multinationals make billions of dollars in profits by bribing corrupt African dictators and public officials to secure lucrative contracts in some of the most critical economic sectors in Africa. Dozens of foreign company executives have been jailed and/or fined heavily for violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.  The book focuses on 28 corrupt leaders in sub-Saharan Africa who cozy up with company executives of some of the largest corporations in the world. Both the officials and the global conglomerates make huge amounts of money using kickbacks, bribery, and corruption while millions of Africans languish in poverty. The Bribery Syndrome is a compelling read.  

  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

    Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.  

  • Embu Historical Texts by Henry Stanley Kabeca Mwaniki

    Embu Historical Texts by Henry Stanley Kabeca Mwaniki

    Ksh 799

    Brief Summary In this book the author traces the origin, movements and cultural life of four different tribal groups in Embu, Mbeere, Chuka and Kirinyaga areas in the central province of Kenya.  The volume comprises of four parts: Part 1 being text on Embu, part 2 on the Mbeere, part 3 on the Chuka and part 4 on the Ndia/Gichugu Kikuyu.  

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