About The Caged Bird Sings and its Founder

When I was coming of age, Kenya was undergoing a marvelous political transformation. The fruits of the second liberation were ripening. Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga led a host of other revolutionary politicians, and in a wave of political victory against then President Daniel Arap Moi and the despotic KANU machinery—the first ever since independence—multiparty democracy truly dawned on the East African nation. This was my introduction to politics. I read, I listened, I watched… I consumed Kenyan politics. I have been a political animal ever since. The Caged Bird Sings is my space for interrogating political going ons in Kenya and to a certain extent, the rest of the world. Rather than mere reporting, this blog is dedicated to a fair, independent, objective, assessment of politics and political players in Kenya. We strive to make our posts both concise and detailed, all while calling out political hypocrisy from all top political players rather than leaning on one side as the electorate is conditioned to do thanks to the “Mtu Wetu Syndrome.”

Politics may be the game that got us started. But politics is hardly all that we do… “The Creative Corner” section is a boiling pot of Swahili and English fun both in prose and in verse. We’ve got roots about this too: At an early age my dad bought me books, taught me how to read, and encouraged me to read. He answered all my questions, taught me new vocabulary, and then gifted me with a small pocket dictionary. I was barely ten. As my learning took flight, Mr. John Mûjumbe, my standard four English teacher, entered and took command of the aircraft. He proved to be a fabulous pilot. He did not only teach me. He lit a fire in me that took a life of its own. The fire burned. I read. It burned. I reread. It burned. I wrote. It burned and burned some more. I couldn’t contain it any longer – I had to share with YOU what I read, what I myself imagined, and sometimes what I or people known to me went through. That’s how “The Creative Corner” and “Book Reviews” sections were born. These two are a heartfelt tribute to my dad and Mr. John Mûjumbe!

In summary, at The Caged Bird Sings we interrogate the politics of the day, engage issues affecting our society, review Memoirs, historical fiction, and books on Africa and by Africans, and write fictional pieces about everyday experiences. Unlike traditional news, the pieces in this blog try to take a critical and stimulating view to societal issues. Like The Caged Bird that Sings in Maya Angelou’s poem from which we adopt our name, we seek freedom in all its facets. All our content is, in some way, a song of freedom. Political freedom, social freedom, freedom from self, freedom from thoughtless living, freedom from preoccupation with norms, … all forms of freedom, and all forms of unfreedom. We sing of freedom from the prison within and most emphatically from the one without to paraphrase Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Welcome aboard and thank you for being here!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Stories
Image courtesy of goluputtar.com

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