Names: Gabriel Dinda, Founder, Writers Guild Kenya and author, Questions of my Youth and Verah Omwocha, Book Editor and author, Diary of the Miaha.
Book Reading: God's Child on the Run: Delivered from the Jaws of Kenya's Deadly Politics by Omwa Ombara
Gabriel and I are a couple and have been married for two and a half years. We consider ourselves prolific readers. Our relationship with books is forever thriving— both at individual and at couple’s level. We have close to 500 books at home and we hope to build a solid library.
I grew up with and around books while Gabriel started reading a little later, in high school. We wish to share the joy and value of books – and we are consistently in this space. We recently opened the Writers Guild All African bookshop where readers can easily access great books by African authors.
We started the FAM BOOK CLUB after we got married to have productive time together in an intellectual setting. We're intentional about personal growth and lifelong learning and that's one of the ways in which we grow. We started the book club because we share a common interest – reading. It is also a fun activity and bonding time.
We target to read daily for at least 30 minutes. Because of the nature of books, we read – Non-fiction—we pause and discuss and even make notes. Sometimes, we are inspired to make resolutions from what we learn. To grow the reading culture, we try to sell this idea to other couples; some of whom have visited us and taken part in our club and in webinars that we have facilitated. We are happy to report that some families have actually adopted it as part of their family traditions.
We are intentional on what we read so we are careful with the selection. One person suggests and the other approves or gives a counter-suggestion. We try to balance different topics/authors in subjects we are interested in. We only read Non-fiction though. I have also been intentionally suggesting titles usually recommended for women. I recommended that we read Fred Geke’s ‘No Longer Ashamed to be a Woman’ because it’s an important read for both men and women.
We're currently re-reading Omwa Ombaras 'Gods Child on the Run’. It is a chilling account of a journalist turned political asylee who risked her life to stand up to truth. In the events leading up to the highly contested and bloody 2007 presidential elections in Kenya, she finds herself in a movie-like episode when she receives an alleged call from the International Criminal Court.
This book makes me question my voice as a Kenyan woman. How much would I risk for truth, for my country. It sparks a sense of hopelessness and hope in the few good Kenyans who believe in truth and justice and fight for it.