For kimay was part of a project to make people like us certain of our place in the world, to make us unable to see the past and our place in it. They also had to show they were good Christians by adopting a western name. It drives a person to quick action.
The four Wainaina children attended decent, free public schools, a system that began to crumble from underfunding and corruption around the time Wainaina started high school, years the author passed with his nose buried in novels and bombing his tests in math.
Accompanying the pelican dives into regional history are fascinating dissections of Kenyan languages, from tribal mother tongues to a hip urban slang called Sheng. The talent is wasted writing donor-funded edutainment and awareness-raising brochures for seven thousand dollars a job.
We have mixed up ways of naming too … When my father's brothers and sisters first went to colonial schools, they had to produce a surname.
The paragraph is hijacked by attention to the role of cattle as currency in many Kenyan tribes.
He slams his glass on the countertop, burps, and turns to look at me. The individuals who planned the much documented post-election violence wore suites and inhabited the corridors of a modern government within a country where multinational companies operate and broadband internet and pizza are available.
Advertisement Goaaaaal. Wainaina's book, which typifies the new trend, is politically and socially engaged — that is, it attempts to explain Kenya and Africa, but it does so without a knee-jerk resort to colonial woes, and this is very welcome.
The effect of delivering history lessons at car-crash speed is to show that the past is still being processed. I look up and see them both leaning over me, dripping sweat, arms akimbo.
Gospel books and tapes spread on plastic sheets on the pavement, next to secondhand international magazines—NBA!