Anthony Mugo’s Never Say Never is a compelling story of a teenager’s quest for education under the most difficult conditions. Daniel Muthini Njoki, the son of a poor, single mother, is arrested and taken to a remand home in Murang’a, then to Getathuru Reception Centre.
He is subsequently transferred to other approved schools: Kericho, Othaya, and finally Kabete, where he sits and passes the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The doors to a university are now open. Although he is an innocent inmate, and although textual evidence points in the direction of the mother, the question of who engineered his arrest is part of what makes this work so un-put-downable.
The sum total is a superlatively well-written novel about the difficulties, the challenges, and the hopes of getting an education in Kenya.