Novel gives new perspective to Kenya’s past and present

Peter Kimani’s Dance of the Jakaranda is a surprisingly good read compared to other drab books by Kenyan authors. ILLUSTRATION| JOHN NYAGAH

What you need to know:

  • Kimani demonstrates a deep understanding of how colonial political, economic and social histories in Kenya intersected, some aspects of which are yet to be fictionalised.
  • Few of us may know that in their efforts to politically divide and dominate the Maasai community in 1890s and economically cripple them, colonial agents deliberately infected Maasai cows with deadly diseases like foot and mouth, and stood by as the Maasai people helplessly agonised as they witnessed the slow and painful deaths of their valued cattle.

Peter Kimani has recently published a new novel, Dance of the Jakaranda, which, going by both thematic concerns and narrative techniques, promises to excite critical responses that have been lacking for a while now.

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