”. . . kilikuwa kitabu chenye jalada jeusi iliyorembwa kwa picha ya mwanamwali mmoja mzuri aliyekuwa akidondoka machozi.. . riwaya hii ni ya aina yake,inathibitisha kwa usanii wa kupigiwa mfano jinsi ndoto ya uhuru barani Afrika imegeuka kuwa jinamizi.jinamizi inayowafanya wazalendo kulia, ‘kidagaa kimetuozea‘kwa kutamaushwa na usaliti wa viongozi wa baada ya uhuru. . . “
hapa twafahamu kuwa kidagaa kilichooza kiliwaozea wananchi wanyonge haswa,kwa kupitia wahusika kama vile AMANI,IMANI,UHURU WEYE DJ NK….
The story is told using a journey motif of two characters, Imani and Amani. The two leave their homes and set out for Sokomoko town to look for jobs so as to earn a decent living.
However, during their journey, they come across River Kiberenge whose water is avoided by the natives of that region like a plague because they associate it with death. Amani and Imani defy all the odds and decide to partake of the water.
River Kiberenge provides the author with another kernel to continue narrating the story. Using this kernel, the reader learns that it is only those who drink from the river that are able to pursue the liberation struggle.
This comes to pass because, once in Sokomoko Imani and Amani get menial jobs where they work for two brothers – Nasaba Bora and Majisifu who are both oppressors.
Through Nasaba Bora, Prof Walibora captures the emotive issue of land in post independent Kenya where the poor are oppressed and their land grabbed. The poor are deprived of their land which is grabbed by the haves of Nasaba Bora’s social class who also abuse their powers.
On the other hand, the author portrays Majisifu as an academic con who plagiarises other people’s manuscripts. Whenever Majisifu is entrusted with manuscripts by publishers who require him to objectively review them and write reports, he does the opposite by making negative reports on them and later using other people’s ideas for his own selfish interests.
This aptly portrays what could be rife in our highest institutions of learning where naive students are conned of their original ideas by the very people who are supposed to mentor them.
However, both Imani and Amani wage relentless wars to end impunity in society – having realised their rights. They lead the masses in an earnest quest to have their land back from Nasaba Bora’s firm grip. They lead a bloodless coup, together with like-minded people. This bloodless coup could signify the change of guard in terms of leadership in most post independence African states where the status quo can no longer be maintained.
This novel will definitely be an interesting read to Swahili enthusiasts in secondary schools, colleges and universities. Unlike Walibora’s earlier novels, Kidagaa Kimemwozea is very rich in terms of narration and idiomatic expressions.
The work is equally engaging. The various kernels and artistic approaches such as flashbacks, a story within a story, flash forwards among others – employed in telling this story, arguably elevate Prof Ken Walibora as one of the most gifted novelists Kenya has produced in the recent times.
Prof Walibora, formerly a news anchor, teaches Swahili at Wisconsin-Madison University in the United States of America.