What you need to know:
- We decided to found the book club with an aim of countering the misconception that Africans are poor readers
- Our goal is to encourage a reading culture in Kenya and promote literary writing
Reviewer: Jane Mureithi, Library and Information Science Specialist. She is the co- founder of the book club.
I enjoy reading books especially by African authors and I hold a belief that each book I read unleashes a new adventure.
As such, I am always looking to find inspiration from other readers and this is what fostered the formation of AfriTales in December last year.
I was working for a particular organisation and every week, I would select a book from the library for review and share it with staff to promote uptake. Earlier in the year, I had a conversation with Robert Mwangi, author of Whisper in the Jungle who is passionate about African literature and had for the longest time wanted to be in an active book club.
We decided to found the book club with an aim of countering the misconception that Africans are poor readers. Our goal is to encourage a reading culture in Kenya and promote literary writing.
We have a WhatsApp group and currently, our membership stands at 15. Our focus is on African Literature and our plan is that the members suggest a list of books to read and as a team, we whittle down the choices to one. The book club is open to all and to join, one can send a request to AfriTales.email@example.com
Our January read is Whisper in the jungle by Robert Mwangi. This is a book that takes readers through different experiences from growing up in poverty to the pursuit of the American dream.
Partly because of colonisation, the African child knows more about the western world than his own. Caught in between the two worlds, a child no longer belongs to the village. This book does not have the answers to decolonising our minds, but raises questions. Do we just watch as our culture dies?
The lesson I draw from the book is on the inevitable change in our society. While our parents diligently teach us about African culture and traditions, we learn a whole lot more from media. However, there is need to preserve our culture. The book shows us how a forced culture will lead to social or psychological chaos. It also brings out the importance of bravery with no limits, fear that saves and the need of self-inquisitiveness.