The Book is out. My debut novel is out!!!
But first things first.
In January 2012, a fatal twist of irony rendered me homeless in Nairobi. It was a month after graduation and the future was so bleak. For the next two months, my accommodation arrangement is not something I can disclose, one of those secrets I will take to the grave. He he.
But a South Sudanese friend from college came up with a plan. He had a million bucks and wanted to invest in Juba. He wanted to build a kickass bakery and he asked me if I could help him set up a kickass newspaper in Juba.
And so, armed with the million bucks in his backpack, a totally misplaced sense of optimism on my side, fueled by post-college silly idealism, we ventured out of Kenya.
We would have flown to Juba. But, No. I like adventure and I elected a bus trip. And that is how we found ourselves down at Kampala Coach, ready to venture into Juba, by way of Kampala.
We arrived in Kampala to a wet wet morning. Kampala in April is wet, hot and humid. And that is what greeted me, plus, one of the funniest billboards. In Kenya, billboards have no humour, character or imagination. In Kampala, creatives make memorable billboards.
The first business of the day was breakfast, more like a brunch, that consisted matoke, beef and groundnut soup, so well done, its sight just gives a hard-on and by the time you are done, well…Then, we proceeded to lunch time beer. Ugandans have their beers. But Kenyan beer is notoriously ubiquitous. But I sampled the Nile Brand. Man! I drank nearly all the Nile in the bars that Saturday.
I remember around 2pm I was already too drunk and was taken to a room for a nap. Five hours later, feeling refreshed after a sweet cold shower, we hit the Kampala night scene, and sampled Kampala night life and I noticed their DJs were ten times better than Nairobi DJs, their music selection far richer than the recycling that takes place in our night clubs.
The women. The biggest distinction between Ugandan women and Kenyan women is that Ugandan women are actually feminine.
Whereas in a Kenyan night club, every girl looks like a heartbreak waiting to happen, a girl in a Kampala night club looks like some who can take you home, and love you like nobody ever did. Binyavanga Wainaina captured best described Ugandan women in his Caine Prize winning short story,Discovering Home, writing,
“Baganda women are terribly sexy; they carry with them a look of knowledge, a proud and naked sensuality, daring to satisfy you.” In Nairobi and other cities, women tend to have this generic cuteness that can be irritating in the words of Binyavanga.
More to the point, we drunk some more, walked around eating roadside chicken, roasted with such a sensual panache that reminds you good food is better than sex. We napped. The following Sunday, future Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta scored a screamer against Man City (where he would learn his coaching skills), the only goal of the match and off we hit the road, to South Sudan, trudging Kampala-Gulu-Nimule route at night. I remember being in Joseph Kony territory and this young Ugandan man giving me horror stories how Kony’s children soldiers were likely to surface and fuck us up a good one, when we were stuck in a particularly treacherous, muddy patch of the of road. African night skies are actually beautiful, they are not just romanticised. And when the moon is out, and it rained earlier in the day, it smells so nice.
Anyway, we made it to Juba lunch time the following day, and it was so hot, my clothes were stuck to my body like glue and some body parts were invisible.
Juba is like walking into an oven. The only thing that helped was a quick cold shower (I was still sweating even when showering), followed by cold beer, in the backdrop of annoying Ethiopian music. To understand how hot Juba is, I drunk up ten beers without ever stepping into the urinal.
To cut a long story, short, we did establish the bakery, but the newspaper was not as successful. And after a month or so, spent drinking Tusker from dawn to dusk, I came back to Nairobi, but in another unlikely maneuver, I found myself in South Sudan within two weeks (with two memorable stops in Kampala, where my love for that wonderful love was cemented) and I would spend the rest of the year in that beautiful country and nearly fell in love with a girl who would have made a good model.
This journey was to be the basis of my first novel, presently unfinished. But I have done all the requisite research, including tracing the roots of my South Sudanese character to Kakuma Refugee Camp, where I spent a week in early 2018. The novel is a roman-à-clef and will be done some time in late 2021-22. And since this can wait, I have since worked on other books, that I intend to be releasing with the regularity of Khaligraph Jones in the next few months.
And today, I announce my first novel—really second— and here it is:Sexorcised.
It is a story of love. Marriage. Divorce. Pain. And healing. It is a story of a man and it is a story of Nairobi as we know it.
The book is out from September 4, 2020 and will be available in the Kenyan market at first.
But because of Covid-19 and printing stuff, I would request for those interested to pre-order, as I am only releasing a limited edition.
To preorder, you can fill your details below (check link on the comment section): name, phone number, email and where you want the book delivered. No payment is required at this time. The book will retail for Sh 1,000 ($10), but there is a 20% for the first 500 orders and at the few distributors I am engaging.
Lastly, for my friends in USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle-East and Japan, the book will be on Amazon and other online outlets from October 1st.
So, let us get this out of the way to pave way for the rest.
By Silas Nyanchwani via Facebook