Kintu

by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

KSh 2,100

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 generations.

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.

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Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

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 at work on her second novel.

Below is Makumbi’s conversation with Ella Allfrey after being awarded the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 2014.

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Troy Onyango

    A novel so rich in prose and beautifuly written. An intricately woven story that follows generations of the members of the Kintu family. With it, the author brilliantly captures the traditional Buganda kingdom up to it’s evolution to what is known to us as modern-day Uganda. In it’s entirety, the Kintu saga is the pinnacle of a brilliant African family story well captured. Such can only be achieved by a writer with the mettle and clout that only Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi possesses. Totally worth the read.

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Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

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 at work on her second novel.