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Remember this?

I was having a conversation last night that took me way back to 8-4-4 Fasihi nightmares. Anyone remember Kusadikika aka Kusad? Can’t believe that was thirteen years ago!

Anyway, we spent a while trying to figure out which book contained the phrase “Mdundo wa highlife.” We figured it out eventually, but I’m curious to see how good the memories of my readers are.

Extra points for naming the four books we did in both fasihi and english lit circa 93-94.

24 comments to Remember this?

  • Mitzy

    Man, that is a blast from the past! This is what I remember:
    English – Concubine, Romeo & Juliet, African Short Stories
    Kiswahili – Kusadikika, Mashetani, Masaibu Ya Ndugu Jero, Kisima Cha Giningi :)

    Way to go! Now which book contained that phrase…

  • This post definitely takes me down memory lane.

    I was a little before your time (I prefer to keep the exact dates to myself!) but in my time, we had Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe and Romeo and Juliet by WIlliam Shakespeare to contend with. I think that the Swahili books were Kusadikika and the other book about the pineapple plantations that were not pineapple plantations: I cannot for the life of me remember the name of that book now …

    Interestingly enough, I can still quote entire passages from Romeo and Juliet as I was part of a high school production of the book for the drama festival (anyone remember that !!)

  • Sijui

    Mitzy takes home the prize!!!!

  • I remember “The Winner and Other Stories” and particularly one story about some women and ants – attack. Who wrote those stories.

    And just like Ntwiga, some lines stay with you for life. For some reason, the line “Katika hali ya kuenda down zile steps” from Kisima right before they discover Mwana wa Giningi’s body has stuck to date despite the irrelevance!

  • @ Ntwiga
    Things fall apart * Romeo and Juliet = 92

    I though Kibs was going to help books sales of Kenyan writers by including them in the lit curriculum

    Has he done it?
    Lets ask by buddy google, he might know

  • Google had an answer http://www.kenyaliteraturebureau.com/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=45

    Trust, aren’t they are all from Kirinyaga?


    ‘Mdundo wa Highlife’ was from Masahibu Ya Ndugu Jero. Highlife being a musical craze in West Africa. I believe in the 70’s and early 80’s.

    Where do I collect my prize?

  • Wangari

    Hey Ory! I was searching for info on the Kenyan constitution online and I came across your blog. Super! Ihope you are well. i heard good news about you from Mico sometime last year. Congrats. I am not positive you remember me, but just in case you do…
    anyway, yes mdundo wa highlife, I am afraid became a permanent part of my vocab post Masaibu. The phrase is just too funny to not have become part of my everyday jargon 😉

  • I was in the earlier 8-4-4 bandwagons…I will never forget ‘Mui huwa Mwema’ , because one of the main characters was called Mashaka. My swahili teacher on realizing how challenged I was in the subject, nicknamed me ‘Mashaka’= wewe dada unamashaka mengi sana. nice memories :)

  • mdundo wa highlife? That sure sounds like Brother Jero right before his jadhbas kept getting more and more hyped.

    Don’t know all the books but I recall the one story from the African short stories book, “The truly Married Woman.” Good read!

    Those were torturous years!

  • anonymous


    African Shortstories featuring:

    LEXICOGRAPHICS (whatever the heck that word is!) lol..I think this was that story about racism in south africa…a south african funeral where the pointee kid is sobbing amids the white relatives who cannot even give her a hug in her mothers funeral…

    A shortstory about Pastor Deya ministries hahaha.

    Good one.

  • I think the class of ’95 studied the same books…Masaibu ya Ndugu Jero was my favourite fasihi book (reading Amope’s part just made me happy)- I hated ‘Mashetani’. English literature- African Short Stories…I found a copy lurking around my parents house and re-read it, remembering those hot January afternoons when we sleepily read ‘The Ivory Dancer’, ‘the Coming of the Dry Season’, ‘A Civil Peace’…good times.

  • acolyte

    What was the name of that book? East African Poetry by David Rubadiri? Or something like that. Ah there was also Mashetani!
    The good old days!

  • kopel

    hy,KISIMA CHA GININGI,I remember Specta Seif,he was a good man,very intelligent officef,

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  • Hasheem Simba

    Lexicographicide was by Tabaan Lo Liyong. That shit was real shit.
    We had a classmate who could never pronounce it well….for the rest of eternity.

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