Carving of a Firebrand: A journey of brokenness, breakthrough, loss and restoration by Irene Kendi
Through a life filled with struggle, meaning, tragedy, and accomplishment, Irene Kendi has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.
As the Deputy President of the Students Organisation of the University of Nairobi (SONU) — the first female student leader to serve in that role — she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive student leadership in Kenya’s student leadership history.
While at it, she established herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in Kenya and worldwide. She showed us a few dance moves along the way, regaled us with her pulsating humorous banter, raised a down-to-earth son, and kept her family dignity under an unforgiving media glare.
In this memoir, Kendi invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood in Maua, on the northwestern slopes of Nyambene Hills and west of Meru National Park, to her years as a trade unionist, civil servant, and advocate. She tells of balancing the demands of motherhood and work at Kenya’s most famous address – Nairobi.
With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her struggles, triumphs, and disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, Carving of a Firebrand is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations — and whose story inspires us to do the same.
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