Kosiya Kifefe by Arthur Gakwandi

Kosiya Kifefe is a star of his family and one of his village. He is one of the few that make it to sit the Cambridge school certificate. When his colleagues rush off to get jobs as primary school teachers, he keeps chasing opportunities to join the advanced level a recent addition at his school. Kifefe never considers himself as one of those of his village.

He makes it through to university to study social sciences graduating as an economist. During his stay at the university, he became a known debater. Before long, he lands a sales manager job at the Uganda Plastics company and his circle changes immediately. Unfortunately, with the political turmoil in the country, the general manager of the company dies a mysterious death and he is chosen to sit in an acting capacity.

This position elevates Kifefe’s position in not only among his people but the entire country he soon joins the league of his colleagues in similar ranks. He takes to living a pompous lifestyle like those in his ranks.

With the rise to power comes the new greed to acquire as much wealth as he can. Everyone in the government or in any position of influence is seen to be doing the same. This same hunger drives Kifefe to discontentment in his marital life, he does not come out fully to commit to his Kabibi his wife.

Much as there is political insecurity, Kifefe finds himself living a very insecure life. He is stressed about work, estate and his personal life. He sees himself as the solution to all those he knows and his inability to satisfy their needs is a heavy burden on his heart.

With time, he finds himself in exile where realizes he has issues with his blood pressure. His heart finds it hard to function according to the pressure.

Thanks to Agnes Tamale, a nurse-turned-wife while in exile in Nairobi, Kenya who takes the career of his health while he is away.

His advocacy and involvement in the country’s regional political discussions earn him a favoured position as a minister-elect as he rises on the shoulders of technical know-who.

He returns to Uganda to join a new government and also assumes his position as a new minister in charge of urban planning, a position he does not live long to see. Everywhere he goes, every person he meets, he makes more promises.

Kosiya Kifefe documents the emergence of the middle class in Uganda and how they struggle to fit into the societies they initially belonged and the challenges of a rural-urban difference in lifestyle. These differences swept the Kifefes of this word off their feet.

With more than fifty years of independence, the country has grown just as has the social and economic life of its people.

The novel was published by the East African Publishers. Written by Arthur Gakwandi, 1997.

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