Archive for the ‘Books I have read’ Category

I AM MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER By Rosemary Kariuki Machua

July 10, 2009

33 years later, JM Kariuki’s daughter’s journal in a book

It wasn’t until I met Rosemary Kariuki Machua (JM Kariuki’s daughter) at the US Ambassador’s residence during a reception celebrating International Women’s Day that I thought about getting this book.

She was standing there dressed in a shimmering green outfit , animatedly talking to another equally well-dressed woman who I later came to learn was Sue Muraya, a brilliant fashion designer who said she had actually designed that very outfit that got Rosemary standing out from the crowd. I approached them and asked if i could take a photo of them -i later used it in a magazine. I was truly amazed at how well they responded but it wasn’t until i went ahead to jot down their names for the caption that she said her name and occupation-Author. knew there and then that this was the daughter who just recently launched a book.

Now, I had already received lots of messages about the book and the launch but I do not know why I never went out to get it. We exchanged contacts and I got the book the very next day.

I have been reading it in bits and pieces and you know what, I could easily read it again because some of the things she talks about are almost unbelievable especially towards the end.

One particular quote rings reasonable to me, that “My purpose is to share my story so that others may gain the courage to speak out theirs”, Rosemary says on page 108.

A couple of the people I discussed the book with did not understand why the book was centered on her-Rosemary, but I totally do. This is her journey, her search for understanding. See, here is a daughter who for years and years struggled to come to terms with who her father really was and why he had to die the way he did. Here is a daughter (and family) who feel betrayed by their own Kenya.

This story is more or less a journal and trail of experiences she has gone through since childhood. It brings us face to face with the situation of J.M. Karikuki’s unresoved murder, makes us question the injustices we have seen in the country over the years. Rosemary’s search is actually our nation’s search and who better to lead us through it than his own flesh and blood, his own daughter.

There is so much to learn about JM that newspapers or magazines wouldn’t have ever brought out-like small glimpses into who he was as a father and philanthropist-a human being. And yes, a couple of surprises about his relationship with Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President ; how boldly Rosemary admits, “The nature of the relationship between Kenyatta and my father was such that there was no way his cronies would have assassinated him without Kenyatta’s knowledge. I believe that Kenyatta was involved in the plot to some extent.”

I shed a couple of tears especially when she recalls the circumstances surrounding his death and thereafter when the family was having difficulties and there was no one (of his so called friends and family) to help because they thought (so did I) that JM was a millionaire.

Her story reminds us of what happened to JM and the fact that ‘History unresolved cannot be shelved’. Not that I have forgotten him. Hell NO! My family and I went in search of Ole Tunda and the site where his body was found all the way in Ngong Hills.

I just hope that the book serves its purpose:

a) To ensure justice prevails for JM and family (and the nation at large), though 33 years later, ‘m not sure how that will work.

b) This one has clearly been stated by Rosemary herself,“To share my story so that others may gain the courage to speak out theirs.”

This one I will attest to; This story has made me realize that one persons’ story could actually be an entire nation’s story. My passion to tell my story has also increased 5 ,or 10 fold, I think….

Homelessness of the soul does exist

May 19, 2009

It has been a year since I posted anything on this my blog here. Anyway, that one year has taught me (the hard way) what ‘real life’ is really all about. I have even known homelessness of the soul, body and spirit.

I’m hoping i will get back into blogging. To begin with, I’d like to share this piece here by Jessica Powers, a Carmelite nun whose work i seem to be able to relate to (though i am so not close to her lifestyle). This is from her book ‘Poetry as prayer’

There is a homelessness

By Jessica Powers

There is a homelessness, never to be clearly defined

It is more than having no place of one’s own

No bed or chair

It is more than walking in a waste of wind

Or gleaming the crumbs where someone else has dined

Or taking a coin for food or cloth to wear

The loan of things and the denial of things are possible to bear

It is more, more, than homelessness of heart

Of being always a stranger at love’s side

Of creeping up to a door only to start

At a shrill voice and to plunge back to the wide

Dark of one’s own obscurity and hide

It is the homelessness of the soul, in the body sown

It is the loneliness of mystery

Of seeing oneself a leaf, inexplicable and unknown

Cast from an unimaginable tree

Of knowing one’s life to be a brief wind blown

Down a fissure of time in the rock of eternity

The artist weeps to wrench this grief from stone

he pushes his hands through the tangled vines of music

but he cannot set it free

It is the pain of the mystic suddenly thrown

back from the noon of God to the night of his own humanity

It is his grief, it is the grief of all those praying

Infinite words to an infinity

Whom, if they saw, they could not comprehend

Whom they cannot see

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