Jennie Marima’s award-winning children’s book Trio Troubles launched at the Mbogi Ya Mawriters series at the Alliance Francaise, Nairobi on December 5, 2019. The event, moderated by Mwangi Kiara, also had Maryan Noor as a panellist.
On September 28, the best in Kenyan writing for adults, young adults, and children were announced at the Text Book Centre Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature 2019 in Nairobi. One of the biggest shouts came when Jennie Marima, known in writing circles as “Shi,” won the best book for children in English for Trio Troubles.
On Thursday, December 5, the book was officially launched at a new series at the Alliance Francaise Nairobi called Mbogi Ya Mawriter. Mbogi is a word that came from the railway carts in Kiswahili that has been adopted in current times in sheng, a pidgin of Kiswahili and several other languages, to mean a crew or group of people. The series started in November with Mombasa Raha My Foot by Haroun Risa.
The December launch was conducted by Mwangi Kiara and his panel of Jennie Marima and Maryann Noor. Jennie Marima’s work includes the three picture books Super Sara and the Lost Baby (Longhorn, 2019), Hello (Book Dash, 2017) and Rundo the Elephant (East African Educational Publishers, 2008). She also has two young adult novellas Just this Once (2019) and The High Road (2016) both published by One Planet Media and Publishing Services.
Jennie explained that her book started in 2016 when she applied for a manuscript project (Book Dash) and she got to travel to South Africa as a reward in 2017. The book was then published by Setmark Publishers; this year it would win her the biggest award in her career. It is about three kids; Kenyan twins and a Canadian exchange student staying with them and the shenanigans they go through. (I’ve read it; highly recommended for kids).
Maryan Noor started writing as a teenager and at the grand age of twenty already has two books to her name both published by Kenya Literature Bureau in I Will Be Back and Nobody Knows My Pain. She was a brilliant foil for the writer launching her book on the day as they are both high energy individuals.
You can watch some of the action at the Alliance Francaise recorded below.
The evening ended with a note of thanks from Alliance Francaise’s Dennis Mucheru who welcomed the audience back to Alliance Francaise at any time. Also giving remarks at the closing was Writers Guild Kenya CEO Gabriel Dinda.
After this, audience members had their copies of the book launched signed by the author.