Sunday, May 12, 2013

A timely guide for students reading ‘Damu Nyeusi’

A timely guide for students reading ‘Damu Nyeusi’
Title: Mwongozo: Damu Nyeusi na Hadithi Nyingine
Author: Kahura Ndung’u
Publisher: Benchmark Education Publishers
Reviewer: HUGHOLIN KIMARO

A new Kiswahili guide for Damu Nyeusi, one of the new set books for Secondary School Kiswahili Literature has been released. Damu Nyeusi is an anthology of short stories that has been edited by Ken Walibora and Said Ahmed Mohamed, both renowned Kiswahili writers.

The book has been approved by Kenya Institute of Education and will be examined for the first time in this year’s KCSE.

The guide gives a thorough analysis of all the thirteen short stories, one after the other. For each story, the writer gives a summary of the plot which gives the reader a quick grasp of the story, and an analysis of characterisation, thematic approach, style and language use. At the end of each story, there is a set of questions that will help the reader get a deeper understanding of the story and for self assessment.

Written in a simple and flowing style, this guide gives the reader a comprehensive but quick review of the anthology.

Some of the themes expressed in some of the stories include racism, challenges that African students encounter when they go for further studies abroad and the rights of girls in Kenya. Among other challenges that the youth encounter are unemployment, while others find it hard to fit in the urban environment where they go to seek opportunities.

At least two of the stories also highlight the issue of marriage and the effects of alcoholism in the society. Corruption, poor leadership, moral decadence and exploitation of the poor by the rich are well covered in the book.

In-depth understanding

The guide has analysed all the above themes in a clear and concise approach. The book will no doubt give candidates preparing for their KCSE Kiswahili Paper 3 Examination a valuable guide for an in-depth understanding of the 13 short stories from all the main aspects of analysis.

They will also find it very helpful during their revision for the said examination through the revision questions.

The writer, Kahura Ndung’u, is a an experienced teacher, an accomplished author, translator and editor. He is also a KCSE (Kiswahili Paper 3) senior examiner of longstanding.

His other books include a guide for Kifo Kisimani (Longhorn Publishers), Hazina ya Kiswahili, (Longman publishers) and Tamaa Mbele na Hadithi Nyingine (unpublished).

The book has been published by Benchmark Education Publishers who have given the work a fine touch of quality, hence making it very appealing to the reader who has taste for quality work of art.

hkimaro@ke.nationmedia.com

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