Ken Walibora’s popular novel in Kiswahili Siku Njema is now available in English with the name This Day. The novel was translated by Dorothy Kweyu and Fortunatus F. Kawegere.
In 1996, Kenyan writer Ken Walibora published a new book called Siku Njema with Longhorn Publishers. The book is written in Kiswahili the language of our region and deals with the life of Msanifu Kombo a young man born in Tanga, Tanzania. The young man faces family hardships with his single mother including being chided by his schoolmates in a culture that frowns upon illegitimate children. Msanifu would go out to find his father who is based in Kenya.
The novel would make its author Ken Walibora a household name in Kiswahili fiction across the region. He would follow this book with Innocence Long Lost (2005) a fictional account of child abuse in Kenya and the nonfiction tome Narrating Prison Experience: Human Rights, Self, Society, and Political Incarceration in Africa (2013).
A new generation of readers is set to have access to his first and most popular title as the original publisher Longhorn presents the book in English. Translated by Dorothy Kweyu and Fortunatus F. Kawegere it follows the journey of Msanifu Kombo through childhood and across borders.
Announcing the new translation on his social media Walibora stated;
“Hapa nawatangazia kwa heshima zote kutolewa kwa tafsiri ya Kiingereza ya Siku Njema! Natumai mtaifurahia kazi ya watafsiri waliojaribu kuhawilisha mawazo yangu ya kibunifu kutoka kwa Kiswahili hadi kwa Kiingereza. Kwa watafiti na wakereketwa wa taaluma ya tarjumi, kazi kwenu. Aidha kazi kwenu wapendao kuogelea katika bahari ya Kiingereza.”
The translation for this can be accessed using Google Translate but in a nutshell, he respectfully announces a new translation hoping you the reader will enjoy the work of those who translated his thoughts into English. The rest of the statement means that “Trevor Noah voice” this is the best thing since the introduction of Mpesa to Kenya.
Look out for the title when you go out to do your book shopping in the future please. And tell us what you think.