And you know what? Thanks to my secret agent Lady Kikuyumbuzi who provides me with all this funky stuff kama tapes with Kameme FM, interesting sniplets from the newspeahhpaa and other small bubudius to help a mZungu Kiuk in exile get goin’ — I eventually got my own copy of this GREAT book today!
(note to Mbuzimoja: Mapenzi ni kikohozi, hayawezi kufichika. :-)
Let me just quote from Binyavanga’s editorial: “…I prefer to see Kenya as a diverse place which needs diverse conversations: no publication or person can represent all of Kenya’s literary aspirations”…“Kwani? is a place for seekers. Not all seekers. Just some” (…) “I am beginning to see that Kenya (The Parliament and Sections Kenya..) is dying. (…) There is another Kenya growing out of these ashes. It has learnt to need nobody; to be competitive and creative. It speaks Sheng. It is the Kenya we are waiting for.”
And then of course you open the book, read some pages and think to yourself: Ati??? WHAT has happened to Kenya? This IS GREAT, that’s what I’ve been waiting for all the time, this is MY GENERATION taking over now. This is part of the new Kenya that actually blogs on the internet, this is Kenya with it’s mobile phone crazyness, it’s language mix-ups (Sheng et al).… this is what my fellow Europeans need to have in mind when they are speaking to Kenyans. And I also think: the revolution will not be televised, no, it is right here, in the middle of everything and we’re part of it. And it has already started. We are here to ask questions, look back in history and create a positive future. This Kwani?3 book is just part of a new Kenya coming up. And it rocks!
If you happen to live in the London area, pls make sure to check out “AFRICAN VISIONS 2005 — Think Africa: A festival of African Literature, Culture and Politics” taking place at the British Library on October 15th-16th. => “…the UK launch of the exciting Kenyan-based New Writing magazine ‘Kwani?’.”
Mbuzimoja, I owe you big times! :-)