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Ciku Kimeria is a Kenyan author "Of goats and poisoned oranges" - (https://www.amazon.com/goats-poisoned-oranges-Ciku-Kimeria-ebook/dp/B00HBBWPI6), development consultant, adventurer and travel blogger (www.thekenyanexplorer.com). She writes both fiction and non-fiction focusing on African stories that need telling. She has worked on diverse pieces for various international and local publications including Quartz, Ozy, The East African etc. She has travelled to 45 countries – 16 of them in Africa. 153 countries to go and 63 territories!
"Of goats and poisoned oranges" has been extremely well received in Kenya and beyond. It tells the story of a Kenyan middle aged power couple and their complicated marriage. The novel explores issues of greed, revenge, betrayal and murder. It runs from the 1960s to 2013. It has been described as “Wicked, funny, poignant, wacky, human, a big ball of fun and danger”, “A unique and captivating book”, “Fun and intriguing”, “Impossible to put down once you start reading.”
She recently moved to Dakar, Senegal from Kenya to work on her second novel. She also works at as the Africa Communication Manager at a leading global strategy consulting firm.
She holds a B.S. in Management Science from MIT with minors in Urban Planning and International development studies.
Angela Makholwa's interview with the literature enthusiast and blogger James Murua is a fascinating one. I discovered the amazing South African writer when I read her second novel The 30th candle a few years back. I read this book right around my own 30th birthday, and the stories of the different friends who are turning 30 in contemporary Johannesburg really resonated with my own life at the time in Nairobi. It's interesting learning about about Angela's entry into the literary world from this podcast.
The 30th candle is a light read with some characters that you love and others that you love to hate. Overall, though, it's a fun, entertaining, suspense-filled novel that is a light, easy read. I had no idea before listening to this podcast that Angela had been a crime journalist and that her first novel was loosely based on interviews she had carried out with a South African serial killer. I am convinced to get all her other books online. I can only imagine the cliffhangers that worked so well in the 30th candle in crime stories.
I also quite enjoy listening to Angela speak about adapting her novels to different forms (including screenplays), and how her time in Nairobi exposed her to Kenyan artists who love her work and have made stage adaptations of it. African literature is booming right now and, as an African writer, it's very exciting to see the cross-pollination between artists on the continent.
Coincidentally, when she speaks about her most recent novel, she touches on a topic I dove into in my last piq — that of the evolution of sugar daddies and sugar babies on the continent. Her recommendations of African authors and novels to watch out for makes me smile — not a single immigrant story (as critiqued in my one of my other previous piqs), but instead many books written by African writers living and working in Africa, writing African stories. It is refreshing to hear one of my favorite writers mentioned in that list — South Africa's Zukiswa Wanner.