Indignant and disillusioned by a society in which watching the 9 o’clock news is more disturbing than reading crime and horror fiction, an emerging Kenyan fiction writer has decided to take matters into his own hands. Bimavango Kipwanaina, through a rant on his Twitter account, has said that his trade is at risk now more than ever because “whoever writes the script for Kenya makes Shonda Rhimes looks like an amateur.” Habare has learnt that Bimavango is planning to launch an online and offline petition drive in which he hopes to collect a million signatures. Bimavango will then be filing a case at the Supreme Court, with the “Kenyan politicians, the Kenyan elite and the Kenyan society in general” as the three defendants on trial.
“People don’t want to read fiction novels anymore. Let’s face it, how can a writer like me imagine the script for some of these investigative exposes on TV and newspapers? Today it’s a trusted pastor who is milking people dry by charging for prayers, tomorrow it’s universities selling PhDs to kindergarten drop-outs for three thousand shillings, the next day it’s doctors selling cow-dung as treatment for HIV/AIDS at one thousand shillings. How are we writers supposed to compete?” an irritated Bimavango posed. “I also need to put food on my table. Last year all the creative fiction I wrote was preempted by investigative journalism and television newscasts, so none of my work sold. Nothing is left to the imagination in this society. None. Kaput. If I was one of those people they interviewed for the news I’d have said, “Tunaomba serikali…” (We are pleading with the government to…); but how can the government help if it is the main culprit?”
“The other day I watched the news and a judge sentenced a 120 year old Turkana man to prison for life for not being able to read a 60-page legal contract in English. Seriously, could Shakespeare with his timeless dramas ever dream of coming up with such a plot?” Bimavango tweeted before logging out to finalize his petition.