AutoBiography

AutoBiography

  • Forward to Independence by Fitz de Souza

    Forward to Independence by Fitz de Souza

    Ksh 3299

    Brief Summary Fitz de Souza's memoirs recount a political story woven through a personal account of migration and integration, with both the hardship and hope that this entailed. His account takes us from Asia to Africa and then to Europe before returning to East Africa where he lived for most of his life. It gives a flavour of lifestyles, moral codes, and politics as they were in early 20th century India, 1930s Zanzibar, and Europe after the war. Most importantly, it takes us to that formative time when the foundations were laid for an independent Kenya, giving the reader a window into those last decades of colonial Africa and those early years of the new nation. The transition was not a peaceful one. It was not a time when the "rule of law" was applied in an undiluted sense. The book gives the inside story of the colonial government's handling of the independence movement including the trial of the Kapenguria six, Jomo Kenyatta and fellow nationalists, and Operation Anvil, the round-up of the Mau Mau. It explains how agreement was eventually reached and compromises found, in particular through the Lancaster House conferences, that enabled a new country to be founded. It portrays the politicians of the time, before independence and after, some hugely idealistic, some charismatic, and others forever enigmatic, many of whose lives in those formative years ended in tragedy. Hilary Ng'weno, a highly regarded Kenyan journalist and editor, provided invaluable support: "I interviewed him many times, so that the interviews, which were recorded, could help him in writing his memoirs. That exercise was an eye opener for me. I had never met an elderly person who could remember so many details about his past. He was remembering personalities and events of the years before and soon after Kenya’s independence in 1963 and Fitz wasn’t just remembering events touching on his life. He was remembering Kenya’s history of which he was one of the great makers. The story you read in this book is not just about Fitz. It is a story about the foundations of the Kenya nation. And it is for that reason that I feel very strongly that Fitz Remedios Santana de Souza will forever remain a legend for many Kenyans." David Steel, The Rt Hon. the Lord Steel of Aikwood, a close personal friend, commented: ”This is a remarkable book, beautifully written and describing in graphic detail the author’s experience of the transition of Kenya from violence-torn colony to independence. Fitz de Souza speaks with authority as one active at the centre from lawyer to Jomo Kenyatta to Deputy Speaker in the Nairobi Parliament. His sketches of the participants are quite breath-taking and moving. His is a life lived to the full – I could not put it down and read it all in just two sittings.” In her introduction, Victoria Brittain, former foreign correspondent for The Guardian in East Africa, writes: "Fitz de Souza is a man of memories from his unique insider/outsider status in Kenya’s struggle for independence from Britain and the early days of its uncharted path under Jomo Kenyatta. A vanished world of optimism and idealism rooted in Goa, Zanzibar, Kenya’s Rift Valley, London’s Inns of Court, and the dying days of British colonial rule in Kenya is unveiled in his subtle understated book. De Souza was Deputy Speaker of the first Parliament of independent Kenya, a trusted friend to Kenyatta and of all the aspiring politicians of the moment, many of whom he knew well from the prisons and courtrooms of violent pre-independence days. He was a man who in those heady days of independent Kenya could have had any ministry he wanted, and was offered any stretches of farmland he wanted by Kenyatta. Unlike so many others he wanted none. The life he chose was a very different one of idealism, matter-of-fact self-sacrifice and extraordinary hard work.” "

  • Playing the Enemy by John Carlin

    Playing the Enemy by John Carlin

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation A thrilling, inspiring account of one of the greatest charm offensives in history--Nelson Mandela's decade-long campaign to unite his country, beginning in his jail cell and ending with a rugby tournament. In 1985, Nelson Mandela, then in prison for twenty-three years, set about winning over the fiercest proponents of apartheid, from his jailers to the head of South Africa's military. First he earned his freedom and then he won the presidency in the nation's first free election in 1994. But he knew that South Africa was still dangerously divided by almost fifty years of apartheid. If he couldn't unite his country in a visceral, emotional way--and fast--it would collapse into chaos. He would need all the charisma and strategic acumen he had honed during half a century of activism, and he'd need a cause all South Africans could share. Mandela picked one of the more farfetched causes imaginable--the national rugby team, the Springboks, who would host the sport's World Cup in 1995. Against the giants of the sport, the Springboks' chances of victory were remote. But their chances of capturing the hearts of most South Africans seemed remoter still, as they had long been the embodiment of white supremacist rule. During apartheid, the all-white Springboks and their fans had belted out racist fight songs, and blacks would come to Springbok matches to cheer for whatever team was playing against them. Yet Mandela believed that the Springboks could embody--and engage--the new South Africa. And the Springboks themselves embraced the scheme. Soon South African TV would carry images of the team singing "Nkosi Sikelele Afrika," the longtime anthem of black resistance to apartheid. As their surprising string of victories lengthened, their home-field advantage grew exponentially. South Africans of every color and political stripe found themselves falling for the team. When the Springboks took to the field for the championship match against New Zealand's heavily favored squad, Mandela sat in his presidential box wearing a Springbok jersey while sixty-two-thousand fans, mostly white, chanted "Nelson! Nelson!" Millions more gathered around their TV sets, whether in dusty black townships or leafy white suburbs, to urge their team toward victory. The Springboks won a nail-biter that day, defying the oddsmakers and capping Mandela's miraculous ten-year-long effort to bring forty-three million South Africans together in an enduring bond. John Carlin, a former South Africa bureau chief for the London Independent, offers a singular portrait of the greatest statesman of our time in action, blending the volatile cocktail of race, sport, and politics to intoxicating effect. He draws on extensive interviews with Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and dozens of other South Africans caught up in Mandela's momentous campaign, and the Springboks' unlikely triumph. As he makes stirringly clear, their championship transcended the mere thrill of victory to erase ancient hatreds and make a nation whole.

  • Terrorism Betrayal and Resilience My Story of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

    Terrorism Betrayal and Resilience My Story of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary On August 7, 1998, three years before President George W. Bush declared the War on Terror, the radical Islamist group al-Qaeda bombed the American embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where Prudence Bushnell was serving as U.S. ambassador. Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience is her account of what happened, how it happened, and its impact twenty years later. When the bombs went off in Kenya and neighboring Tanzania that day, Congress was in recess and the White House, along with the entire country, was focused on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Congress held no hearings about the bombings, the national security community held no after-action reviews, and the mandatory Accountability Review Board focused on narrow security issues. Then on September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. homeland and the East Africa bombings became little more than an historical footnote. Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience is Bushnell's account of her quest to understand how these bombings could have happened given the scrutiny bin Laden and his cell in Nairobi had been getting since 1996 from special groups in the National Security Council, the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. Bushnell tracks national security strategies and assumptions about terrorism and the Muslim world that failed to keep us safe in 1998 and continue unchallenged today. In this hard-hitting, no-holds-barred account she reveals what led to poor decisions in Washington and demonstrates how diplomacy and leadership going forward will be our country's most potent defense. 

  • Showboat The Life of Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby

    Showboat The Life of Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary Finalist for the Cross British Sports Biography of the Year Award in the UK "With surgical precision, Roland Lazenby expertly dissects the life of this generation's most fascinating basketball player. What made Kobe Bryant tick so loud for so long? Lazenby shows you with a tour de force in reporting and an intimate inspection at Bryant's trials, accomplishments and tribulations." -- Jonathan Abrams, author of Boys Among Men "With the publication of Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant, it is high time we recognized author Roland Lazenby for what he has become: the finest sports biographer of our time. First with the astonishing Michael Jordan: The Life and now his having written an incredibly researched, beautifully written biography of this enigmatic Laker superstar, Lazenby has entered rarified air: one is wowed by what one learns and at the same time you can't wait to read what comes next." -- Peter Golenbock, author of ten New York Times bestsellers Eighteen-time all-star; scorer of 81 points in a game; MVP and a shooting guard second only to Jordan in league history: Kobe Bryant is one of basketball's absolute greatest players, a fascinating and complicated character who knew when he was a mere boy that he would be better than Jordan on the court. The debate about whether he achieved that is a furious one--but Kobe has surpassed Jordan on the all-time scoring list and has only one less championship than Jordan (5 to Jordan's 6). He is set to retire after the 2015/16 season, just in time for Roland Lazenby's definitive biography of the player and the man. The Lakers are the flashiest team in all of sports, and the context in which Bryant played is salacious and exciting. Provocative stories mixed with good old fashioned basketball reporting make for a riveting and essential read for any hoops fan.

  • My Life My Purpose A Tanzanian President Remembers by Benjamin Mkapa

    My Life My Purpose A Tanzanian President Remembers by Benjamin Mkapa

    Ksh 3699

    Brief Summary His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa was Tanzanian's third president, elected under the first multi-party general election in Tanzania. His memoirs range from his childhood, time as president, and his continuing post-retirement involvement on the international stage of development and peace mediation. This book will appeal to readers interested in: an African's personal experiences of colonialism in East Africa; the struggle for independence by the liberation movements of several African countries; how war helped unify the diverse citizens of a young nation; fostering nationalism and addressing ethnic and religious differences; the economic and social aspects of transition to socialism and then to a free market environment; the political transition from a single party state to multi-partyism; and relations with international organisations and development partners. During the ten years of his presidency he undertook substantial reforms, such as the privatisation of national assets, securing international debt relief and restructuring the public service. His Excellency writes of his childhood, his political maturation, the evolution of the State and politics in Tanzania, as well as some political upheavals in neighbouring countries. These memoirs are enriched by his views on leadership and advice for aspiring leaders. After Julius Nyerere, few books have been written by senior Tanzanian leaders on the evolution of Tanzania; in fact more literature has been produced by foreigners than Tanzanians, thus H.E. Mkapa's memoirs are a milestone. This book will appeal to aspiring leaders; students of development, international politics and diplomacy; those working for development partners; historians and those who want to know more about their Tanzanian heritage. "

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed

    Wild by Cheryl Strayed

    Ksh 999

    Breif Summary At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

  • A Political Biography of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

    A Political Biography of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

    Ksh 2999

    Brief Summary Jk: A Political Biography of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete: President of the United Republic of Tanzania This is the first comprehensive study of the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the fourth president of the United Republic of Tanzania who took office in December 2005. Julius Nyang oro offers an insightful analysis of President Kikwete s beginnings as a party functionary and analyzes his rise to the highest political office in the country. In his analysis of Kikwete as a politician, Nyang oro manages to weave a compelling narrative on the relationship between Kikwete s political evolution and the contemporary history of Tanzania since independence. The picture that emerges forces the reader to go beyond a narrative about an individual politician and brings to the fore the many contradictions of post-colonial development in Tanzania. At the center of the narrative is a story about leadership, human agency and the constraints of underdevelopment as leaders strive to positively influence change in their countries. While this is a sympathetic analysis of Kikwete and his rise to power, it also asks tough questions on the role of the ruling party and the interpersonal relations within the ruling party s leadership. The story benefits from the uniqueness of Tanzania as a particular form of a modern African nation-state while addressing the challenges posed by that uniqueness.  Although the book is rightly titled A Political Biography of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, it essentially represents a very rich and refreshing account of the post-colonial political development in Tanzania. Its narrative brilliantly captures the critical role of the human agency in development for any African country.  By heavily borrowing from the late Julius Nyerere's philosophy of social engineering, JK's governance style has skillfully established a productive and organic rapport with the formal and informal institutions of the Tanzanian state and society. In his first five year term, JK has also successfully utilized his considerable personal magnetism to mobilize the masses to several of his intimate political causes: nation-building, development and the anti-corruption crusade. Above all, his immense diplomatic skills have produced huge political dividends to Tanzania's conflict-prone neighbors.  I am very confident that this book will be on everyone's shelf interested in understanding how to grapple with Africa's development challenges. SEVERINE M. RUGUMAMU, Ph.D Professor, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)University of Dar-es-Salaam Julius Nyang oro s biography of Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (known as JK), is a fine study of an outstanding African leader; and a paean of an African success story in nation-building and state-construction.  Kikwete s presidency comprises a complex amalgam of the socialist experiment of his great mentor, Julius Nyerere, and a pragmatic adoption of a political economy that responded to the exigencies of a changing world. Nyang oro traces the life of Kikwete from childhood, through schooling and work as a devoted cadre of Tanzania s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).  Recognized early on as a talented and devoted party stalwart by the party leaders, Kikwete rose through the ranks eventually ending as the leader of CCM and President of the country. The book provides an excellent summary of how Kikwete managed to accomplish the difficult task of balancing the legacy of Nyerere s socialism with the requirements of a market-responsive economy and multi-party democracy. It does this by reference to the earnest attempts at fulfilling the objectives (values) of sustainable development, national unity, rule of law, human rights and social justice. The application of the rule of law in particular is illustrated by the way corrupt high ranking government officials are investigated and tried without fear or favor, but with fairness and compassion. All in all, Tanzania emerges as an exemp  

  • A Song for You My Life with Whitney Houston

    A Song for You My Life with Whitney Houston

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story. Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all--her best friend, Robyn Crawford. Since Whitney's death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. Now, for the first time ever, Crawford opens up in her new memoir, A Song for You. With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn describes the two meeting as teenagers in the 1980s, and how their lives and friendship evolved as Whitney recorded her first album and Robyn pursued her promising Division I basketball career. Together during countless sold-out world tours, behind the scenes as hit after hit was recorded, through Whitney's marriage and the birth of her daughter, the two navigated often challenging families, great loves, and painful losses, always supporting each other with laughter and friendship. Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.  

  • The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

    The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

    Ksh 3599

    Brief Summary The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?” Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics. HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible. CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth. Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right. To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.     

  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

    Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be. With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have. Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice. Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward. From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son's request that she buy a necklace to "be like the other moms," Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.   

  • The Girl who Dared to Dream by Betty Gikonyo

    The Girl who Dared to Dream by Betty Gikonyo

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary The Girl who Dared to Dream is the moving and highly motivational story of Dr. Betty Muthoni Gikonyo, who works exceedingly hard to overcome near insuperable social difficulties in pursuit of her childhood dreams.  Her autobiography tells the story of a girl born into rural neediness at a time when education for the girl child is taboo among the Kenyan indigenous communities. Despite numerous roadblocks, social rapids and waterfalls, Betty Muthoni is unrelentingly focused on her dream. She has to become a physician, no matter the odds.  She will be a blessing to herself, her family and to very many others. Her story takes you through the complete gamut of human emotions and passions, revealing her as truly human and humane, both in her high and low moments. In the words of Judge Justice Joyce Aluoch, this story is simply a must read, for everybody.  

  • My First Time by Janet Mbugua

    My First Time by Janet Mbugua

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary Storytelling can be a powerful tool in influencing policy. "My First Time" brings together 50 voices who narrated their stories on a topic that is to date highly taboo, but have a place in changing perceptions.  These stories, once internalized, have the potential to improve the lives of millions, not only in Kenya but around the world, in putting an end to period poverty. 'It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story' - American Indian saying.   "

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