Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi invites you to our virtual book talk series, featuring African Authors! With this series, we hope to offer a platform where African writers can engage a global audience, offering not just their work, but exciting perspectives on how personal, political, and cultural experiences drive their storytelling.
Our second book in this series is "Of Pawns and Players" by Kinyanjui Kombani, which is the story of Tomas Karamu, a mutura vendor who is trying to make ends meet. His involvement with the daughter of a rich and prominent man traps him in a betting syndicate. Tomas is in a dilemma between what is morally right and what will keep him out of trouble. What will he choose?
In a fine work of contemporary literature, Kinyanjui Kombani highlights the plight of today’s youth in a country rife with corruption, exploitation, and poverty without sounding depressing.
Mshaï Mwangola, is an oraturist / performance scholar who uses the lens of culture in her work as an academic, artist and activist. She holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University (USA), a Masters of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne (Australia) and a Bachelor of Education from Kenyatta University.
Mwangola chairs the Board of Uraia Trust, which is the biggest non-state facilitator of civic education in Kenya. A member of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), she is also a founder-member of the intellectual collectives, The Elephantand The Orature Collective. Through the latter’s artistic arm, The Performance Collective, she co-facilitates the monthly Pointzero Bookcafé, which features public performances and conversations around literature.
Kinyanjui Kombani “The banker who writes” is an award-winning Creative Writer, Banker, and Learning Solutions Specialist.
His novels ‘The Last Villains of Molo’ and ‘Den of Inequities’ have been study texts in universities in Kenya and beyond. His total body of work includes 13 solo publications (children’s stories, young adult fiction and a play ‘Carcasses’ that was shot to film in 2004 as ‘Mizoga’) and 8 collaborations including the newly released ‘Nairobi Noir’ anthology.
In 2019, Kombani won both the Jomo Kenyatta and Wahome Mutahi prizes for Literature. He is also the 2018 winner of the CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature.
He received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award of Kenyatta University in 2014 and featured in the 2015 Top 40 Under 40 Men Business Daily Africa Survey for his contribution to creative writing in the country.
He is the Group Lead, People Capability for Standard Chartered Bank, taking care of learning and development across the Bank’s retail banking footprint globally.