To Be A Man; Kwani? Poetry Anthology

by Kwani? Trust

KSh 600 KSh 420

” …I do not want
to be crippled
before I can walk,
to be shoved
in the face of machismo
and whipped
to take it up
in the name of being a man…”
– Ndanu Mungala ( Breaking Through)

“…Now she falls,
And now she bleeds.
The camera takes it all in.
It is seven o’clock,
The way of the cross on your screen…”
– Poesiapoa Njeri (Facing Jeevanjee Gardens)

“…Mercy, don’t you understand that I am a man?
I have a high libido;
I must have it when I need it.
I have to be satisfied,
That’s the reason I have you.
Mercy, I am a man.

Fred, I understand; you are a man.
I should suppress my libido.
I can’t have it till you ask.
I have no urges to satisfy.
I must lower my pants when you want
Fred, you are just being a man…”
– Samuel Munene (Am A Man?)

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The Magunga Bookstore

John Sibi-Okumu (anthology chief editor)

This anthology represents a historical signpost and points to ways ahead. In a worldwide scenario where poetry is almost invariably last to be published, we, as judges of the Kwani? Poetry Competition 2009, are grateful for this initiative and would defiantly proclaim “down with the naysayers!” It was an honour and privilege to have been involved in its creation.
– Mwalimu John Sibi-Okumu
Nairobi, 7th May 2009



Ndanu Mungala, in her winning poem, Breaking through, and other poets, raise the issue of man not being allowed to express tender feelings or to cry. Mboga Patroba rejects violence as a definition in society and instead advocates for self sacrifice, service and respect. Poesiopoa Njeri dissects the disease that allows us to laugh at defilement, rape and abuse in her haunting piece Facing Jeevanjee Gardens. Samuel Munene and Ng’ang’a Mbugua pen excellent parodies of every day notions of societies and relationships.

Additional information

Dimensions 19.8 x 12.8 cm

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Kwani? Trust

Established in 2003, Kwani Trust is a Kenyan based literary network dedicated to developing quality creative writing and committed to the growth of the creative industry through the publishing and distribution of contemporary African writing, offering training opportunities, producing literary events and establishing and maintaining global literary networks. Our vision is to create a society that uses its stories to see itself more coherently.