Imali Abala’s The Unforgotten is a memorial work of fiction that captures the fate of Desi Makhungu in the face of tragedy and cultural gender disparities. When her son Jordan Ūmbisi leaves home in search of greener pastures, following the footsteps of his older brother, it is a moment of hope for better days ahead. He leaves behind his pregnant wife and aging parents who all remain optimistic that he will be successful and help them along! That is never to be! He completely loses ties with his family even when tragedy strikes back home. Now widowed, Desi faces the full gravity of living as a woman with no male figure in the home! What would be her fate in the days to come with neither husband nor son present? Who would build her a home when the old one falls apart? Would cultural practices ‘bend’ enable her to inherit her husband’s land?
What Others Say
“The uniqueness of this book is the author’s depiction of gender disparities and the demerits of [rural-urban] migration in West Kenyan communities. The writer shows how migration can rob parents of their offspring and cause untold suffering.” – Andrew Nyongesa, Ph.D., Lecturer and Scholar of Literature
“This book relives aspects of culture that were central to many African communities and ones that have been steadily eroded by the coming of formal education and foreign religion. All this makes the story both rare and novel.” – Erick Livumbazi Ngoda, Author.