Those who have been in the fresh produce business longer are immediately visible: mostly old women in khanga sarongs with weary take-it-or-leave-it voices. They hang out in groups, chatting away constantly,as if they want no quiet where the fragility of their community will reveal itself in the this alien place.
Dear Philomena is Byenkya’s debut novel. The story of two strokes, one girl, one boy and a whole lot of magical realism. Dear Philomena is a one of a kind piece of work. It captures the ways that people read, live and behave in the new millennium. Byenkya speaks to mental and physical health, love and friendship, support and patience in ways that have yet to be done; all the while creating an uniquely suspenseful and thoughtful piece of literature.
In contemporary Nairobi, a young man named Moses Odidi Oganda bleeds to death in the streets, murdered by police. As his lifeblood – full of memories, colors, and songs – pours into the dust, the stories that tumble forth reveal the violent upheaval of Kenya’s own life, reaching from the Mau Mau uprisings of the 1950s to the murky intricacies of modern-day corruption.
As teenagers in Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu – beautiful, self-assured – departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze – the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor – had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion for their homeland and for each other, they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Spanned three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a rich told story set in today’s globalized world.