All About Wallah Bin Wallah – The Author of ‘Kiswahili Mufti’ Series

All About Wallah Bin Wallah - The Author of 'Kiswahili Mufti' Series

All About Wallah Bin Wallah – The Author of ‘Kiswahili Mufti’ Series

Wallah Bin Wallah revolutionised Swahili learning at primary school level.He’s a renowned author of several titles but few people know his background. His series, Kiswahili Mufti, has been at the centre of Kiswahili learning in the country and out. He also writes poetry alongside other literary material.

Despite the fact that most people have heard of him, few know the author of twenty different tittles went through many hurdles before becoming who he is today.

Wallah was born in 1952 in Nyakach, in the then Nyando District (now Kisumu County). However; he did not attend his early education in Kenya. He went to Tanzania where his father was working with East African Railway, where he schooled in two different schools.

He was enrolled in Standard One at Lukungu Lower Primary School, where he studied from Standard One to Four. In Standard Four, he sat for his Common Entrance Examination (C.E.E). He later joined Bukumbi Upper Primary School in Mwanza, and sat for his General Entrance Examination (G.E.E) in 1970.

Nevertheless, his life at both schools was not a bed of roses. His father was not supportive in paying school fees and as a result, he was compelled to look for means of survival.

When he joined Nyegezi Seminary for secondary education, he had a different dream from what he is now; he intended to be a priest or father, as the school was offering secondary education, but only on religious education. However, he was forced to abandon his studies abruptly, after it emerged that he was not a Tanzanian. It was at this time when Ujamaa Villages were being embraced by Tanzanians for the country’s economist benefit.

“I dropped out of school after only one year,” said the 61-year-old. His life was full of coincidences. As he was preparing to return to Kenya, he coincidentally met one named Musa Bwana, who was a fish monger. ”He used to buy and take fish to Kisumu. I had some amount, and one fish was being sold at Sh.3. I bought some and accompanied Musa, to Kisumu, using a vessel called MV Victoria,” revealed the author.The business was making profit which made him to stay in Tanzania for over six months, before coming to Nairobi.

When he arrived to Nairobi in November, 1973. another coincidence knocked on the door of his life. ”I met a man called Zuberi Mohamed, and his sister. They were Tanzanians from Moshi, who had come to Kenya for education. They welcomed and accommodated me, and we all joined Raval’s Secondary School in 1974 which was located on Latema Road, on the building which is used by Midview Hotel currently,” said Wallah.

Malenga Wa Ziwa Kuu

He said his book; ”Malenga Wa Ziwa Kuu” was published while he was in Form Two. In 1975, he sat for his Kenya Junior Secondary School exam. Between 1976 and 1977, he had no option, but to sell ‘sukumawiki’ and groundnuts, in order to cater for his school fees.

He added that he would sell the goods at the roadside in Nairobi West to people heading to Kibera, from Industrial Area after work. No sooner had he completed his education at Raval’s than he was employed by the school, as Kiswahili teacher.

As a student, I used to teach my counterparts Kiswahili. I was very proficient in the language and I was employed there immediately,” said the eloquent Swahili orator.

He later enrolled at Aga Khan Academy for ‘A’ Level, as a private candidate. ”I organised with Ali Attas so that I could be attending lessons after work,” he said. He established a good rapport with Attas, who is now the director, Radio Japan, and who used to work at Oxford University Press as Chief Editor of Kiswahili books and at BBC as a broadcaster.
In 1979, he sat for his Kenya Secondary Advanced Education.’ I wanted to be a secondary school teacher. Therefore, I joined Morogoro Teachers Training College in Tanzania in 1980 for Diploma in Teaching and completed in 1981 and returned to Kenya the same year (1981),” he said.

Kiswahili Mufti

Kiswahili Mufti

In 1982, he began teaching at Misiani Girls’ Secondary School in Kangundo where he taught for three years. ”In January 1985, I was transferred to Isinya Girls’ in Kajiado, after receiving a letter from retired President Daniel Moi and the late Prof. George Saitoti, who was then Vice- President. I was told that my ‘expertise in Kiswahili was needed there’ (Isinya),” he revealed.

Nevertheless, the father of six taught at the school for two years before joining Mbita High School in 1987 to 1994.While at Mbita, he had to resign so as to concentrate on book writing. ”I wanted to come to Nairobi where I could access publishers easily. As I was thinking of a place to land in Nairobi, I was requested by Makini Schools to go and teach there. This was a coincidence again,” he said, adding that his life has been full of coincidences.

He joined Makini Schools in Ngong Road, Nairobi in 1994. He enabled the school to gain fame. In fact his fame spread fast like ash thrown in the air. It was at Makini when he was approached by top officials from Longhorn Publishers, requesting him to write a course book.

”It was at this time when books like ‘Golden Tips’ and ‘Top Mark’ were popular. So Sossion and Musyoki Muli asked me if I could write a Kiswahili course book for them. I agreed and they were shocked when I told them I would only spend one week to come up with manuscripts,” revealed Wallah.

Mazoezi na Marudio ya Gateway

He came up with “Mazoezi na Marudio ya Gateway, Kiswahili,” which was published and gained fame in 1997. Luck knocked on the door again for the writer, when he received a contract from the Constitution Review Commission to translate the drafted constitution from English to Kiswahili.

Consequently, his accommodation and food were catered for by the Commission, at the Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel, for eighteen months.’ I was doing the translation during the day, and at night, I was writing my ‘Kiswahili Mufti’ books. This was an ample place for me to do both jobs,” said the author, insisting that he could not sleep.

Kiswahili Mufti

Kiswahili Mufti

In 2006 he left Makini Schools, and at the same year, published his “Taswira ya Mtihani, KCPE Kiswahili”. He also made a stride forward by publishing two books; ”Insha Mufti- Kioo cha Mwanafunzi” and ”Chemshabongo, Mwandani wa Mwanafunzi” in 2007.

In 2012 he was approached by the Director, Target Publications Limited, Simon Sossion, requesting him to write three course books for the company to be used in Uganda.

“I collaborated with Joseph Mwamburi and Henry Indindi to come up with ”Kurunzi ya Kiswahili” Book 5, 6 and 7,” he said. Apart from course books, Wallah has also begun writing short stories. In fact, he has authored five short stories; namely: ”Zawadi ya Sanda”, ”Sitaki Simu”, ”Tumgidie Bwege”, ”Mbwa wa Majini” and ”Kicheko cha Maiti”. The five were published by him through Wasta Kiswahili Centre. Furthermore he is preparing 14 short stories two of which he has given a publisher.

Kiswahili Mufti

Kiswahili Mufti

“I have given two titles to Oxford University Press for publication. The two are ‘Kifo cha Wema’ and ‘Kitanzi cha Utandawizi’ ,” he said, adding that publishers are fighting for his manuscripts. The short stories are meant to guide people on secrets of life and counsel them on how they should live.
Wallah, who holds a Diploma in Kiswahili and Arabic from Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages in Zanzibar, has established Wasta Kiswahili Centre (Kasri Mufti) as a way of promoting Kiswahili apart from writing books. At the centre are several buildings used for various occasions.

There is a hall, used for lectures for those seeking guidance on matters pertaining to Kiswahili. Students from all over the country with their teachers, congregate nearly every day, in a bid to improve their performance in the national language. Journalists and students also seek guidance from the centre. Apart from learning, the centre also awards those who eloquently speak and write standard Swahili yearly.

We have awarded many people here like Jack Oyoo Sylvester, Badin Muhsin, Nuhu Bakari, Charles Otunga, Enock Bitugi, Prof. Ken Walibora, Simon Sossion, Hassan Ali, Geoffrey Mung’ou, Mwanahamisi Hamadi, Isabela Kituri, Said Mohamed and several teachers,” he said.

The author, who holds a Masters Degree and a PhD in Kiswahili from University of Dar es Salaam-Tanzania, is planning to make Wasta a place to offer Diploma in Kiswahili and write other genre of books, for instance novels and plays. “The famous writers who are being published now were once young writers, and since their work became impressive, they were published. Those calling themselves young writers should also work hard for their work to be published,” he concluded.

By obiero

 

 

20 thoughts on “All About Wallah Bin Wallah – The Author of ‘Kiswahili Mufti’ Series

  1. Greetings from California! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good site!

  2. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the
    layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize
    it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  3. I have a bookshop in Ringai ad I want to stock Kiswahili mufti for all classes. I want to buy books directly from you. Where can I buy them. Kindly consider a discount for the books.

  4. it is amazing to have wonderful people like Wallah within the African society. may Alla bless him wherever he was. this is due to the fact that he was my former teacher who encourage me on how to success in life

  5. Namvulia Guru kofia kwa kazi zake nzuri namwombea Mola Manani amrashie rasharasha za mbawazi sufufu azidi kubobea na kutopea Katika kufanikisha Kiswahili.Nami natamani Kufika WASTA siku moja Inshallah!

  6. Mwalimu dedication you have walked between thorns and rocks but at last you are shining so do not cover your rays of light under the bucket light up others “a burning candle looses nothing by lighting the otherone”

  7. wakati wowote ninaposoma vitabu vyako, ninahisi msisimko na umaana wa kukienzi lugha ya kiswahili yenye nta na mvuto.

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