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Our Turn to Eat Available via M-Pesa

Michaela Wrong’s book, “It’s Our Turn to Eat” is still not being openly sold in Nairobi in most book stores, so  a small group of enterprising Kenyans have got together to import some copies of “It’s Our Turn to Eat” into Nairobi and sell them via the web, using Mpesa. They’re starting off with an experimental 150 copies, if it works they’ll step up the numbers. The books are available now, on: http://www.thekenyashop.com/

7 comments to Our Turn to Eat Available via M-Pesa

  • It doesn’t surprise me but it does disappoint me that bookshops should act like that. Also I do feel that that this could, to the benefit of avid readers I think, see these bookshops become alienated if (it has not happened already) and lead the death most

  • Figgy

    I hope the author of this book is paying you a commission because you certainly are working hard to sell it. Michaela Wrong is wrong on this as she usually is writing about Africa. Remember they said Githongo feared for his life well he is now galivanting around Kenya quite safely.

    Now you complain the book is not being sold in bookshops. The activists and so called democrats want to force private businesses to sell a book that advances their point of view. How democratic is that huh? Kememia if you are an avid reader get the book read it and shut up. Dont try to ram the book down our throats we all know only Luos are interested in reading this book. Anyway this is an exercise in futility if the book is good and so sensational then it will sell, if not then it will fail.

  • it seems to be an interesting read but that price is a little too hefty. i mean dan brown’s new book the lost symbol is a little less than 2k

  • The price has been dropped to KSh1500

    It is not fair to compare between junk like Dan Brown and a real book…

  • pitchfork

    real book? laughable! i hate to imagine what you read.

  • What has Figy drunk?

  • Wrong approach to a whistler’s story


    I recently had an opportunity to read the critically acclaimed book “It’s our turn to eat” by British journalist Michela Wrong. This was after numerous recommendations from my friends.

    The book is a gripping and revealing analysis – from the whistle blower’s perspective – of the inner workings of the Kenyan political leadership. In many of the sections, it takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the corridors of power as well the arrogance and duplicity of politicians away from the public glare. In other sections, it has the reader’s pulse throbbing with scenes reminiscent of the espionage thrillers the late American author Robert Ludlum was famed for.

    Had it stopped there, I would have considered it a brilliant and incisive piece of literature. However, Ms. Wrong’s decided to delve into the intricate world of development aid. Her account of the role of the World Bank in “abetting” corruption, the two-facedness of the British government in addition to the issue of corruption and nepotism in Kenya is noticeably biased.

    Cases in point; she attempts to cast the whistle blower’s father as a saint in the corruption labyrinth yet it is clear that he – as the president’s former accountant – has been an integral cog in that same system she is vilifying.

    Additionally, her onslaught on the policies of the Department for International Development (DFID) on one hand and her defence of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which oversees the British diplomatic missions) on the other hand, is also not representative and only succeeds in bringing to the fore supposed intra-governmental rivalries pitting the two ministries against each other. It is clear that her main sources of information are those that support her chosen storyline whereas the actors on the other side of the divide are cast as betrayers of the reform agenda. Some of her subjects are also emotive lone-rangers who are even given the wide berth by their own governments; this, ultimately, does not give credence to her story.

    It does not stop there, Ms. Wrong then again subjectively and botchedly delves into a complex subject that she clearly does not comprehend; tribalism in Kenya. The end result of her analysis is an indiscriminate vilification of one tribe and “their” supposed role in the corrupt and nepotistic nature of the Kenyan society today. In so doing, she casts herself as the typical I-lived-in-Africa western or western-aligned authoritative connoisseur” on Africa matters. To someone residing outside Kenya, her account most likely confirms (from a skewed perspective) the hopelessness of the country in the face of tribalism.

    Living in Kenya by itself does not automatically provide an outsider with a straightforward representation of our ways of life. You have to understand why; most journalists, political commentators and “experts” on Africa assigned to Kenya always end up living in the higher-end, furnished and gated communities with little or no contact with the deprived masses. Their interpretations of the social, economic and political circumstances in Kenya often involve age-old, condescending, regurgitated assessments of tribal affiliations (depending on who holds the power reins).

    Few are wise enough to see the glaring reality; tribalism is but a pretext by the political elite, a lazy conclusion by the media and a scornful judgment by self-proclaimed political specialists on the real reasons for our decadence. It is always the easy explanation, the easy way out.

    Social and political elitism rather than tribalism are in reality the valid reasons for this social decay. Only when you have interacted completely at all levels of Kenya’s social structure will you appreciate the disconnection of the masses (tribe notwithstanding) from the political class.

    I would have expected Ms. Wrong to focus more on her chief character, John Githongo’s important contribution and personal sacrifice to the fight against corruption in Kenya rather than to add in countless fragmented and uncorroborated angles that left me unable to separate facts from emotions.

    As a member of the disparaged tribe in the book, I feel insulted and condemned by Ms. Wrong’s condescending and ill-researched assessment of the tribal fabric in Kenya and the supposed role of my tribe in the perpetuation of tribal animosity and corruption. If Ms. Wrong had set aside time to talk to me and a group of countless other like-minded “Kenyans”, then she would have perhaps realised that this group is glued together, irrespective of tribal affiliations, by a number things; mutual dislike of the political elite; everyday struggle to survive, one language and similar dreams for our great country.