The Man Kenya Needs to Know


The Man Kenya Needs to Know

The Error of Ignoring Reuben Kigame

By Isaac Otidi Amuke

You know that game where you’re asked if you were to have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would you pick? I know you may already have your favorites, but the next time you’re asked that question, say Reuben Kigame, whether it’s a game you’re playing or you mean it. You’ll thank me later. That’s all I feel like saying and leaving it at that, but then I’ll be doing Reuben Kigame the sort of injustice he’s so accustomed to, that of always being reduced to nothing more than some blind mystical singing figure – and the ground around him shakes when he sings – and ignoring his entire range, be it his place in the intelligentsia – he’s at home discussing Negritude, Ngugi, Shakespeare, Plato or Okot p’Bitek, or his depth as a cultural connoisseur swinging from being rooted in reggae to jazz to blues to rhumba to calypso to Fela’s Afrobeat, or his patriotic varlour starting with street protests during the clamor for multipartism, or his unpopular crusade against the get-rich-quick abracadabra gospel. In a word, you need to know Reuben Kigame, whether he becomes Kenya’s next President (which he hopes he does) or not.


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