Prof. Chris Wanjala Responds to My Apology to Prof. Amuka

Chris Lukorito Wanjala Prof Peter Amuka and I had the option to have a conversation with the Kisii audience about what we knew about Ngugi’s ideas from the past and the present as enunciated in his lecture and to bolster the points he made in his speech or to talk over the subject of his lecture and show that we knew as much as he did or more and thus dash some of the things he said in his lecture to pieces and thus cause a furore.I presume these were our choices as discussants or “discussers” of his lecture.Given that we had traveled to Kisii University as a team and we had gone over the issues he raised in his lecture,it would have been absurd to engage him in arguments.Moreover,the event was not a symposium or a colloquium where different papers are presented and different perspectives are elicited concerning the topic on hand. This was a one man’s show and we were there to appreciate him and cheer him. That is what Prof Akama did; what the Rt.Honorable Raila Odinga did, and what we did as discussants. There is a Bukusu word called “Khukhangarana” .We were not in Kisii to engage in “kamakhangarano ” with Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’. Remember though that Ngugi was my lecturer of English between 1968 and 1969 .As I said in my comments as a discussant, Ngugi resigned his post as lecturer in the Department of English at the University College Nairobi and left me as he went to Makerere University College as a Writer in Residence there ,when I was a First year at the University College Nairobi.He came back around 1972 when I had already graduated and taken up teaching as an Assistant Lecturer.He took over the reins of the Department in 1973,and recommended Dr Eddah Gachukia and I for appointments as Lecturers in the Department and we became his lieutenants in the revolution that was taking place in the Literature Department – University of Nairobi. As a participant in the revolution that he spearheaded how was I to engage in Kamakhangarano at Kisii University on what we did together to abolish the English Department ?Professor Maurice Amutabi , with all due respect as our wonderful host, got our roles as discussants of Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s lecture totally wrong.


About African Interdisciplinary Studies Association Website

Prof. Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi is President of African Interdisciplinary Studies Association (AISA), a pioneer professional associaiton bringing together members from all disciplines in Africa and abroad. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who previously worked as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Kisii University and also Director of Research and Professor in Peace and Strategic Studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), 2010-2013. He has previously taught at Central Washington University, USA (2005-2010) in African Studies Programme and Moi University (1992-2000) in the Department of Development Studies and other public universities in Kenya. Prof. Amutabi holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA in History and African Studies. He received his B.A (Hons) in 1989 in Political Science and History and M.A in 1991 from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Maurice Amutabi is co-editor of Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa: Five Decades of Misrule (with Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o) – in 2013. Amutabi also co-edited Africa after Fifty Years: Retrospections and Reflections (with Toyin Falola and Sylvester Gundona) in 2012. Amutabi is the author of The NGO Factor in Africa: The Case of Arrested Development in Kenya (New York: Routledge, 2006). Amutabi is co-author of Nationalism and Democracy for People-Centered Development in Africa (Moi University Press, 2000). He has also co-authored Foundations of Adult Education in Africa (Cape Town/Hamburg: Pearson/UNESCO, 2005). He has written two novels, Because of Honor (a novel on Islam in Africa) and These Good People (a novel on corruption in Africa). Amutabi is also the author of Nakhamuma Stories (a collection of short stories from the Abaluyia community of western Kenya). His chapters have appeared in over thirty books. His articles have appeared in several refereed and reputable journals such as African Studies Review, African Contemporary Cultural Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Journal of Educational Development; and Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. Amutabi has made presentations at over one hundred national and international conferences. Amutabi is the Vice-President of the Kenya Studies and Scholars’ Association (KESSA), Kenya’s premier research and academic organization. He is the editor-in-chief of Kenya Studies Review and Eastern Africa Journal of Humanities and Sciences. Prof. Amutabi has conducted extensive research on many issues of development. He has taught courses on peace and conflict and gender and development. He teaches in the PhD and Masters Programme in the Institute of Peace and Security Studies at Kisii University. He enjoys blogging and writing and is an avid sports fan, but does not support any of team, preferring to support the team that plays well.
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