The first rain fell the day after they finished planting.
“Let it rain,” Baba Pesa roared happily. “Let it rain until the earth is drunk
with rain. Let it rain until the rivers overflow and wash away the bridges. Let it
rain all it wants, for we have ploughed and we have planted and we have
nothing more to fear.”
He invited his Tajiri Bar friends to his house to sing his praise, drink his beer
and tear into his goat’s ribs. The Barus were there too, uncomfortable with
the opulence, and hesitant with every move they made, from picking a morsel
of meat out of the trays to accepting another drink.
The women sat inside the house, emerging now and then to deliver food and
drink, and the men sat in the veranda discussing money, politics and rain.
Mutiso and Juda were huddled together like pariahs at the far end of the
veranda, Juda in a drunken stupor while Mutiso sang him songs in a tongue
he did not understand.
The Tajiri Bar gang heard from Daktari Choo what rain meant to the spread
of diseases like malaria and cholera, and what he would do to eliminate them
from the world, if only he had the power. The Chief offered to give him the
power and silenced him. Then they heard from Choma Choma the poor state
of the animals people sold him to slaughter.
“Bones,” he complained.
Commonwealth Writers Prize
(Africa Short List)
'... a masterly, artistic representation of the reality,
contradictions, aspirations and problems of a post-colonial Kenyan
community in Central Kenya.'
'Mwangi... weaves a thread of humour through a
fabric of tears. ... STRIVING FOR THE WIND (Baba Pesa) is an
instructive exploration of the true nature of the human condition in rural
Kenya and a fascinating appreciation of the foibles and vibrancy of the
The Weekly Review
|Copyright © 2014 by Meja Mwangi.com All Rights Reserved
|hm books, 2007
Striving For The Wind
Mwangi’s keen eye for the drama and humor in
everyday rural life in Kenya shines throughout
his work. Striving for the Wind, set in the drought years of the
1980s, contrasts a traditional farmer, who is dependent on oxen for
plowing, with a wealthy neighbor whose imported tractor is
incapacitated during a global petrol crisis. While this novel is
suitable for young adults, it does not shy away from some painful