True citizen is a satirical thriller, written by Oduor Jagero. Beside a book author, Oduor organizes summit.cmsafrica.org. I met him in April this year in Uganda and bought his book.
Since then I tried to read it but found no time. At the moment I’m in Malindi and it’s the perfect place to read books. I could stay easily for 6 weeks longer :)
The book starts with a quote
“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.” – Chinua Achebe
The story is about Mayna, a Matatu driver in Nairobi, Kenya who is starting a kind of revolution in his country. I don’t want to tell a lot about the story because it’s better if you read it by yourself.
What I found most interesting are the descriptions of normal life in Nairobi. The life of all the characters like Mayna, his parents, his wife Nyawira and his daughter Maria who suffers from a serious illness. The corrupt police officer Captain Ademba and his wife Achieng. The owner of the Matatu and his conductor Kama. A group of hackers who helped Mayna providing a website (Joomla :) ), a twitter account, a facebook page and a lot of data they took from the government and media agencies.
I recognised many places I have been during our week in Nairobi and my impressions were slightly different from a European point of view. By reading the book from the perspective of a Matatu driver or a police officer I understand now a little bit better how corruption and life (e.g. relationship men, women) in Kenya in general works and how complicated it will become to change that to the better.
The story itself is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes revolutionary. It’s a mixture of Hollywood and Bollywood with fast cars, beautiful women, hard working people, corrupt police officer, a killer and a group of hackers. The end of the story comes a bit fast and I would love to read part 2 of the story :)
Luckily I have the paperback of the book but I didn’t found it on the Internet. The ebook is available at Amazon.
Buy it, read it and learn about Kenya.
Leave a Reply