African Interest

African Interest

  • Scars of a Nation by Peter Mbuthia

    Scars of a Nation by Peter Mbuthia

    Ksh 2799

    Brief Summary Scars of a Nation: Survivor of Kiambaa Church Massacre and the Elusive Justice. On December 30, 2007, declaration of highly disputed presidential election results triggered widespread violence across Kenya. The height of the violence was on January 1, 2008 when attackers who were unleashing murderers' violence on supporters of the presidential candidate who had just been declared winner meticulously planned and torched down Kenya Assemblies of God church full of women, children, and old people who had sought refuge there after learning of an imminent attack on Kiambaa Village in Eldoret Kenya. Seventeen people, mostly women and children, were burnt alive inside the church, and more than eighteen other people were shot with arrows, hacked with machete, and killed outside the church. Anthony Njoroge Mbuthia, who was then ten years old, survived the church fire but with very severe burns. He was treated in Kenya for one year and then referred to Shriners Hospital for children in Sacramento, California, USA, for reconstructive surgery. The international community led by the UN, USA, and the African Union quickly intervened to stop the murderers' violence that was becoming genocide, and thereafter mediation efforts between the combatants gave rise to a government of national unity that incorporated all political stakeholders. Investigations into the violence revealed that crimes against humanity were committed by well-organized and properly financed tribal militias. Several people, among them two who would later become president and deputy president, were indicted by the international criminal court that seats in The Hague, Netherlands. While Anthony was recuperating at the hospital and while he was suffering acute pain, he asked, "Dad . . . why did they burn the church? I thought the church is a sacred place?" I had no simple answer. Scars of A Nation is a true story that gives a witness narration of what transpired during and after the violence. A father's effort to seek for Justice for their son at the International Criminal Court, and a cry for Justice for Victims of the 2007/08 post election violence. The book has a full chapter dedicated to the causes of conflicts and violence in Kenya/Africa.

  • The Lies That Bind Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah

    The Lies That Bind Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary Who do you think you are? That’s a question bound up in another: What do you think you are? Gender. Religion. Race. Nationality. Class. Culture. Such affiliations give contours to our sense of self, and shape our polarized world. Yet the collective identities they spawn are riddled with contradictions, and cratered with falsehoods. Kwame Anthony Appiah’s "The Lies That Bind" is an incandescent exploration of the nature and history of the identities that define us. It challenges our assumptions about how identities work. We all know there are conflicts between identities, but Appiah shows how identities are created by conflict. Religion, he demonstrates, gains power because it isn’t primarily about belief. Our everyday notions of race are the detritus of discarded nineteenth-century science. Our cherished concept of the sovereign nation―of self-rule―is incoherent and unstable. Class systems can become entrenched by efforts to reform them. Even the very idea of Western culture is a shimmering mirage. From Anton Wilhelm Amo, the eighteenth-century African child who miraculously became an eminent European philosopher before retiring back to Africa, to Italo Svevo, the literary marvel who changed citizenship without leaving home, to Appiah’s own father, Joseph, an anticolonial firebrand who was ready to give his life for a nation that did not yet exist, Appiah interweaves keen-edged argument with vibrant narratives to expose the myths behind our collective identities. These “mistaken identities,” Appiah explains, can fuel some of our worst atrocities―from chattel slavery to genocide. And yet, he argues that social identities aren’t something we can simply do away with. They can usher in moral progress and bring significance to our lives by connecting the small scale of our daily existence with larger movements, causes, and concerns. Elaborating a bold and clarifying new theory of identity, "The Lies That Bind" is a ringing philosophical statement for the anxious, conflict-ridden twenty-first century. This book will transform the way we think about who―and what―“we” are. "

  • Potent Brews Social History Of Alcohol In East Africa 1850-1999

    Potent Brews Social History Of Alcohol In East Africa 1850-1999

    Ksh 3199

    Brief Summary This is the first general history of alcohol and drinking in East Africa. Contributes to an emerging field of African social history in distinctive and innovative ways. Willis's central theme is power - from customary beliefs in alcohol as a symbol of authority and a means of enhancement and privilege, to the use of power in advertising and discourse on the consumption of modern bottled beers and spirits. It is Willis's contention that attitudes towards alcohol have become more similar across the region over time. Willis achieves a full chronological span of nearly two centuries. He lays considerable emphasis upon the late-colonial and post-colonial years; thus bringing out the continuities of these years which historians of eastern Africa have tended to overlook. Oral material from three case study areas in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are integrally woven in with archival and newspaper sources, each reinforcing and elaborating the other.

  • The Pirates of Zanzibar Darkest Salaam by Haroun Risa

    The Pirates of Zanzibar Darkest Salaam by Haroun Risa

    Ksh 1199

    Brief Summary From Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, a group of brave young souls will find love for themselves again, and rediscover themselves as they embark on the unpredictable journey back to Kenya, now a feared battleground thanks to The Day The Music Stopped. From Darkest Salaam, love, rediscovery and truth will determine their power in those precise moments

  • Swahili Origins by James De Vere Allen

    Swahili Origins by James De Vere Allen

    Ksh 2499

    Brief Summary Swahili Origins: Swahili Culture and The Shungwaya Phenomenon. Kiswahili has become the lingua franca of eastern Africa. Yet there can be few historic peoples whose identity is as elusive as that of the Swahili. Some have described themselves as Arabs, as Persians or even, in one place, as Portuguese. It is doubtful whether, even today, most of the people about whom this book is written would unhesitatingly and in all contexts accept the name Swahili. This book was central to the thought and lifework of the late James de Vere Allen. It is his major study of the origin of the Swahili and of their cultural identity. He focuses on how the African element in their cultural patrimony was first modified by Islam and later changed until many Swahili themselves lost sight of it. They share a language and they share a culture. Their territory stretches from the coast of southern Somalia to the Lamu archipelago in Kenya, to the Rovuma River in modern Mozambique and out into the islands of the Indian Ocean. But they lack a shared historical experience. James de Vere Allen, in this study of contentious originality, set out to give modern Swahili evidence of their shared history during a period of eight centuries.

  • War for Peace Kenyas Military in the African Mission in Somalia 2012- 2020

    War for Peace Kenyas Military in the African Mission in Somalia 2012- 2020

    Ksh 999

    Brief Summary War for Peace Kenyas Military in the African Mission in Somalia 2012- 2020.  

  • Never Be Silent Publishing and Imperialism 1884-1963

    Never Be Silent Publishing and Imperialism 1884-1963

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary “We will never be silent until we get land to cultivate and freedom in this country of ours” …so sang Mau Mau activists. The struggle for independence in Kenya was waged at many levels. Never be Silent explores how this struggle was reflected in the communications field. It looks at publishing activities of the main contending forces and explores internal contradictions within each community. It documents the major part played by the communications activities of the organised working class and Mau Mau in the achievement of independence in Kenya. The book contributes to a reinterpretation of colonial history in Kenya from a working class point of view and also provides a new perspective on how communications can be a weapon for social justice in the hands of liberation forces.

  • Information and Liberation Writings on the Politics of Information and Librarianship

    Information and Liberation Writings on the Politics of Information and Librarianship

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary Information and Liberation is a retrospective collection of Shiraz Durrani's articles and conference papers on the politics of information. The book documents the struggle for progressive and relevant information policies and practices over a period of 25 years in Kenya, Britain, and other countries. The book records also the vision, struggles and achievements of many progressive librarians and activists to develop a system and a society which can meet the information, social and cultural needs of all, particularly those marginalised by forces of capitalism and imperialism.

  • Progressive Librarianship Perspectives from Kenya and Britain 1979-2010

    Progressive Librarianship Perspectives from Kenya and Britain 1979-2010

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary Public spending is under threat and public libraries are suffering. At a time when libraries can play a critical role in supporting people facing difficult economic and social situations, the dominant conservative model of librarianship has nothing meaningful to say about the role and relevance of libraries. It offers more of the same, but no qualitative change so necessary today. It continues to maintain the myth that there is no alternative to its own policies and practices. There is thus an urgent need to alternative ideas and practices to address people’s needs. The progressive librarianship movement is taking up this challenge. It has also been active in Kenya and Britain but its work is not widely know. The Kenyan movement differed from the others in that it grew within the underground political movement in the 1980s - the December Twelve Movement/Mwakenya. Using original documents, this book records this hidden history. In the process, it examines key concepts such as the role of libraries and the relevance of service. Linking library work with the wider social and political concerns, the book explores issues such as politics of information, the role of activism and “neutrality” in library work. It offers an alternative approach to librarianship, to the training of librarians and to organisational change to make libraries more relevant to people’s lives.

  • Makhan Singh A revolutionary Kenyan trade unionist

    Makhan Singh A revolutionary Kenyan trade unionist

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary This book examines the life and work of a remarkable trade unionist and revolutionary. Makhan  Singh laid the foundation for radical trade unionism and influenced the liberation struggle in Kenya. He actively participated in the struggles of the working classes in India. For this, the colonial authorities in India and Kenya detained him for over 15 years. This collection, marking 101 years of Makhan Singh’s birth, explores different aspects of his life as a father, a trade unionist, a political activist, a poet and a communist committed to social, political and economic liberation from colonialism and imperialism. His vision, his action and his courage are as relevant today as they were in his time.

  • Kenyas War of Independence Mau Mau and its Legacy of Resistance to Colonialism and Imperialism 1948-1990

    Kenyas War of Independence Mau Mau and its Legacy of Resistance to Colonialism and Imperialism 1948-1990

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary Kenya's War of Independence restores Kenya’s stolen history to its rightful place, stripped of colonial interpretations. In this expanded and revised version of his 1986 booklet, Kimaathi, Mau Mau's First Prime Minister of Kenya, Durrani covers Mau Mau’s resistance to colonialism and neo-colonialism and reflects on its ideology, organisation and achievements. He sees Mau Mau in the larger context of Kenya’s war of independence and looks at the influence of organised, radical trade unions as the engine of resistance, linking economic with political demands of working people. Additional chapters document the post-independence resistance by the underground December Twelve Movement-Mwakenya. Durrani captures the dynamism of transition from colonialism to neo-colonialism: “Imperialism replaced colonialism, African elites replaced White Settlers, neo-colonial government replaced colonial government. Resistance changed from the War of Independence to War of Economic Independence. Worker and peasant resistance is evident once again. History is on the march”.

  • Peoples Resistance to Colonialism and Imperialism in Kenya

    Peoples Resistance to Colonialism and Imperialism in Kenya

    Ksh 999

    Brief Summary This book looks at the third pillar of resistance to British colonialism – people’s resistance, the others being Mau Mau and radical trade union movement. It brings together several aspects of people’s resistance to colonialism and imperialism – before and after independence and includes resistance by nationalities, women, students, peasants and workers in what can only be described as people’s resistance. While Mau Mau and trade unions were essential in the liberation struggle, on their own they would have faced innumerable difficulties to achieve their goal. Peasants, nationalities, women, children and young people, students, independent churches, independent schools, all played a part in reinforcing the organized and ideology led resistance of Mau Mau and trade unions. Additional material is included to provide thought for reflections. The first two essays deal with the question of nationalities and with the contradictions between capitalism and socialism with the collapse of USSR. They point to the fact that that the struggle in Kenya influences, and is in turn influenced by, developments around the world. The next section is the presentation at the launch of Kenya’s War of Independence in Nairobi on February 21, 2018. The final section contains solidarity messages from Shiraz Durrani, Abdilatif Abdalla and Kang'ethe Mungai at the event to commemorate and celebrate the revolutionary work of Karimi Nduthu held on March 24, 2018 at the Professional Centre in Nairobi. The Kenya Resists Series covers different aspects of resistance by people of Kenya to colonialism and imperialism. It reproduces material from books, unpublished reports, research and oral or visual testimonies. The three aspects chosen for the first three publications in the Series – Mau Mau, Trade Unions and People’s Resistance – make up the three pillars of resistance of the people of Kenya.

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