Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was born in Uganda and moved to England in 2001 to study. She now teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University where she completed her PhD. Her work has been published by African Writing and Commonword. Her short story “Let’s Tell This Story Properly” won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014. Kintu is her first novel and the winner of the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013. She is currently (2014) at work on her second novel.
Publisher Kwani Trust, 2014
Length 442 pages
In 1754, Kintu Kidda, Ppookino of Buddu Province, in the kingdom of the
Buganda, sets out on a journey to the capital where he is to pledge
allegiance to the new kabaka of the realm. Along the way, a rash action in a
moment of anger unleashes a curse that will plague his family for
Time passes and the nation of Uganda is born. Through colonial occupation and the turbulent early years of independence, Kintu’s heirs survive the loss of their land, the denigration of their culture and the ravages of war. But the story of their ancestor and his twin wives Nnakato and Babirye endures. So too does the curse.
In this ambitious tale of a family and of a nation, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi skilfully weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break with the burden of their shared past and to reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.
‘LET’S TELL THIS STORY PROPERLY’ BY JENNIFER NANSUBUGA MAKUMBI
OVERALL WINNER AND AFRICA REGIONAL WINNER OF THE 2014 COMMONWEALTH SHORT STORY PRIZE BY COMMONWEALTH WRITERS / 10TH JULY 2014 / THE SHORT STORY
If you go inside Nnam’s house right now the smell of paint will choke you but she enjoys it. She enjoys it the way her mother loved the smell of the outside toilet, a pit latrine, when she was pregnant. Her mother would sit a little distance away from the toilet doing her chores, or eating, and disgusting everyone until the baby was born. But Nnam is not pregnant. She enjoys the smell of paint because her husband Kayita died a year ago, but his scent lingered, his image stayed on objects and his voice was absorbed in the bedroom walls: every time Nnam lay down to sleep, the walls played back his voice like a record. This past week, the paint has drowned Kayita’s odour and the bedroom walls have been quiet. Today, Nnam plans to wipe his image off the objects. Read More.
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