3 Literary Things to Love About… Kenya

June 1st is Madaraka Day in Kenya, marking when the East African nation regained self-rule. Here are three things to love about Kenya’s rich literary tradition:

1) Wangari Maathai, The Challenge for Africa

This piece of non-fiction should be required reading for anyone who wants to know why roots planted in the past still invade the continent. Maathai, an environmentalist, political leader and activist, was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2) Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow 
This boundless novel is a cracking, magical satire with a sweep of the familiar, characters that are closely drawn even in their absurdities.

3) Kwani Trust
It’s hard to think of an organization that does more to develop and promote writers than this Nairobi-based group, with the Kwani? journal, readings, open mics and more.

What’s on your Kenyan reading list on Madaraka Day?

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