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By Moses Isegawa

Like Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Moses Isegawa's Abyssinian Chronicles tells a riveting tale of twentieth-century Africa that's passionate in imaginative and prescient and breathtaking in scope.

At the guts of this unforgettable story is Mugezi, a tender guy who manages to make it during the hellish reign of Idi Amin and reviews firsthand the main crushing facets of Ugandan society: he withstands his far-off father's oppression and his mother's cruelty within the identify of Catholic zeal, endures the ravages of battle, rape, poverty, and AIDS, and but he's in a position to maintain a hopeful or even sometimes a laugh outlook on lifestyles. Mugezi's hard-won observations shape a cri de coeur for a humans formed via untold losses.

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Sample text

Mostly British or South African, Europeans had soon acquired much of the most fertile lands, inspired by glowing reports of the opportunities in the region. 13 Having built the railway, a few thousand stayed on and other tradesmen, clerks and workers followed. With immigration unrestricted, the community grew rapidly, taking advantage of the opportunities that colonial rule brought in trade and smallscale production, creating clusters of Indians of Gujerati, Punjabi or Goan origin throughout East Africa.

The majority of squatters in the southern Rift and Laikipia were Kikuyu, the largest number from Kiambu, but there were many Bukusu squatters in TransNzoia, and Nandi, Keiyo and Kipsigis in the west. Many Luo, Luhya and Gusii, in contrast, moved to live as short-term contract workers on the tea estates around Kericho or on the sisal estates of the coast, a choice that had long-term implications for Kenya’s future. Gradually, the country developed from a scattering of foreigners with guns into a functioning state and economy, built on settler agricultural exports, mostly to the UK.

5 Colonial rule stopped their further growth, as the white newcomers took Kikuyu and Maasai land for themselves. The Kikuyu constituted 19 per cent of Kenya’s population in 1962. 2). Some placed the Gicugu and Ndia communities of Kirinyaga as separate sub-groups or with the Embu, but most considered them part of the broader Kikuyu. The second largest community at independence was the Luo of Lake Victoria. 6 Although there were at least 34 Luo clans, their tight geographical position and recent arrival meant there was less regional differentiation among the Luo than in some other communities.

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