While in Kenya, I got a good dose of reality about the impact of government corruption on all levels of society, and recently found a book I’ve wanted to get my hands on since leaving. Michela Wrong published a book on Kenya’s government corruption in 2009. It was banned in Kenya. In fact anyone found distributing the book was punished, but it did make a small circulation.
The book is It’s Our Turn to Eat. The author is a journalist who covered African issues for the BBC, among others. She’s also written other non-fiction books about Africa that I’m keen on reading. So far, I’ve enjoyed her writing style and found her perspective compelling. While it’s not revelatory to me, as I lived some of what she talks about, I think it would be a great read for anyone remotely interested in Africa.
I could (and have), rant for hours about the devastation of government corruption, but I will refrain. As my former college roommate said, “What you say is probably right, but how you say it turns people off.” I’m afraid this is one of those issues that I’m so passionate about my delivery would destroy the message.
I will let others say for me what I cannot say without offense. While overseas I found two NGOs focused on government corruption in Africa, the Free Africa Foundation and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. They are run by Africans, both of whom left Africa years ago and became very successful in their line of work.
I actually met with Dr. Ayittey from the Free Africa Foundation. I really enjoyed talking to him and learned a great deal. I just wish there was more I could do to bring this issue to the forefront. It’s not from lack of trying mind you.
But before I go off again, I’d highly recommend reading It’s our Turn to Eat. In the meantime, here’s a few online reads I’d recommend: