Ken Walibora – Siku Njema

Ken Walibora - Siku Njema

Ken Walibora – Siku Njema

Is a popular (Swahili language|Swahili) novel written by the renowned Kenyan author, Ken Walibora. The novel was published in 1996 and saw Walibora become an instant household name in Swahili fiction. Written in the first person, the book deals with the life of a young man,  who is born in Tanga, Tanzania and who faces family hardships with his single mother, who is a talented singer of taarab. Being a child born out of wedlock does not make life easier for him as he is chided by his schoolmates in a culture that frowns upon illegitimate children.


In Tanzania, the story dwells mostly in the struggles of Kombo

Prof Walibora

Prof Walibora

after his mother, Zainabu Makame dies. He has to struggle with school and at the same time live through the maltreatments meted by his aunt and foster mother. His brilliance in writing however, baills him out and he becomes quite a successful student later nicknamed Kongowea Mswahili in reference to a prize-winning essay he had written.

Kongowea Mswahili after some struggles manages to escape to Kenya in search of his father whom he had only seen in a snapshot in their house. After other doses of trouble, he finds his father who happened to have been a known poet Juma Mukosi but who used the pen name of Amuj Isokum, a backward spelling of his real name.


The book ends with the main protagonist, Kongowea Mwsahili in his house early in the morning in the town of Kitale. He is writing a book, most possibly about his life, when his wife Vumilia binti Abdalla comes from behind and gives him a bear hug. She notes that it is too late and he needs some night rest. He then looks through the window and sees the eastern horizon burning red, he had been writing for too long.

6 thoughts on “Ken Walibora – Siku Njema

  1. Pingback: Ken Walibora’s Swahili Novel – KUFA KUZIKANA. | | Fasihi | Literature in Africa |

  2. Pingback: Kisasi Hapana! – Ken Walibora | | Fasihi | Literature in Africa |

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