Individual Alienation and Political Oppression in Kenya as Depicted in Wahome Mutahi’s Novels
The study was an attempt to analyze how Wahome Mutahi, in a selected three of his texts, engages the political concerns of his time in Kenya. Though there is no mention of Kenya, the events featured obtained in Kenya in the writer’s time. Similarly, some characters in the fiction are patterned after historical characters in Kenya at the period mediated in the works. Primary data was obtained from a critical reading of Wahome Mutahi’s selected novels, namely Three Days on the Cross (1991), The Jail Bugs (1992) and Doomsday (1999). Other materials, especially Wahome Mutahi’s `Whispers’ column in the Sunday Nation, formed the secondary sources, and relevant critical works were read and cited to support the study. The texts present a universe fragmented by political misrule, which induces alienation to individual characters. The worlds evoked in these works are characterized by political oppression and the major characters in the works are alienated. Chipota and Momodu in Three Days on the Cross, Albert Kweyu in The Jail Bugs and Ismail and Albert Lukulo in Doomsday are all alienated characters living in societies where political oppression obtains. The study is a useful addition to the corpus of emergent research into and knowledge about the significance of this previously neglected Kenyan writer, dramatist and journalist, Wahome Mutahi.