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I am careful nowadays not to dream too much because the more I daydream a particular story, the higher the likelihood that I will not write it. Simply because it will have become too familiar and no longer exciting.
He never forgot that dinner. The relatives tried to bribe him with chicken stew, beef stew and other sumptuous meals in subsequent dinners, but whenever they asked him “what meals will you say we fed you when you go back home?” his answer would be, “the first night I arrived, I was fed Ugali and houseflies stew.”
The impact the story had on me, well I enjoyed the diagrams in the story. I just found the story to be weird. I mean, couldn’t he have just told them he doesn’t think houseflies make for great dinner?
Unfortunately, I lost the book and my father was still reminding me about it even when I left high school eleven years later. The story had no impact on me, but the loss of the book did. I have never lost another book since.
Buchi Echemeta’s “Second Class Citizen”. The main character pisses me the hell off! I would NEVER want my daughter to be like her.
Michela Wrong’s “It’s Our Turn to Eat”. It gave me an insight on Kenyan past that I didn’t know, and I’m Kenyan.
Paulo Coelho’s “The Zahir” – It just really enriched my life. Made me a better human being and helped me deal with a few insecuritites here and there.
…and so did Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”.
Paulo Coelho’s “Eleven Minutes” – Who wouldn’t enjoy a story about a really philosophical prostitute? It also gave me insights on a few things about sex
Kezilahabi’s “Rosa Mistika” – I was eleven when I read this Kiswahili book. I’m a decade and a half older now and I still remember everything about it. Maybe that’s why it is a favorite.
Place A – From ages 0-7, I was an upcountry boy in the Central parts of Kenya. Growing up in the Moi era, Central province was an opposition area and in the early and mid 90’s, that meant that we had no electricity, no roads, old schools, the whole poor upcountry folk shebang. Not so poor as to go without food or clothes or shelter, but poor enough to lack electricity and to only wear shoes on Sunday.
This hasn’t really impacted my writing because I haven’t utilized this stage of growing up in my stories yet. But maybe I will. However, I feel like I am in touch with upcountry life mainly thanks to this stage.
Place B – From ages 8-12, I was in boarding school. This is when I learned to read, write and speak English and Kiswahili. Before this, I could only speak Kikuyu, my mother tongue. By the time I was leaving Primary School in Standard eight, I was one of the best pupils in languages.
This was a Catholic School and the Father in Charge ensured that we read at least one novel a week and wrote a summary about it. This honed my interest in widespread reading and sparked a writing interest in me. I could write a mean composition!
Place C – From ages 13-16, I was in a Boys only Boarding High School. It wasn’t much different from the boarding primary school.
Place D – 17-Date. After high school I moved to Nairobi and instead of reading now, I started living. This impacted my writing in a way that I now stopped basing my characters on movies I had watched and books i had read and started basing them on real life people and places and experiences. Best times of my life.
During and after high school, I ‘handwrote’ novels in exercise books. Just reading some of them these days embarrasses me. Other got lost. I didn’t start serious writing until I joined University in 2009 and my writing didn’t pay off until 2017
I am also a part of the film production team working to adopt “Around Nairobi in One Night” aka Confessions of a Kenyan Uber Driver into a movie. I’m very excited about this
Alright. The fact that I have no idea what the day will bring has something to do with me wanting to leave the bed every morning. I don’t have a 9 to 5 job, so every day comes with new experiences. Even if those experiences sometimes are as limited as me spending the whole day in the house reading yet another book or writing yet another story for my website http://www.chanchori.com
I did not listen to her. My Math score didn’t improve either. And I have no regrets on my action or consequence
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