In the beginning
Through The Wilderness of Life is an engrossing account of the life of Richard Kioko Kiundi.
The author shares his struggles and triumphs from childhood to adulthood.
Always the performer in every sphere of life, i.e. school, work and business, Kioko’s story is worth it as it reminds one of the beauty of hard work and never ever giving up.
This page-turner is a motivational book as it is an autobiography.
He narrates his life’s journey in simple English, making the triumph over despair and fear look easy, with some tinge of humour here and there.
It leaves the reader yearning for more at each turn of the page and chapter.
How good is it to know your lineage since the 1800s?
Do you know your ancestral lineage? Can you name your great great great grandfather?
Kioko pens down his ancestors in the Eombe Nthioka Katemi clan.
It begins in Emali, an emerging and important commercial centre for Africans and Indians, in the 1960s.
Kioko shares his struggles in childhood and in adulthood, in easy to relate English added with a tinge of humor.
The first chapter virtually gives an interesting background of who Richard is, what he has accomplished and what he became.
The subsequent chapters, go deeper into some of the stories raised in chapter one.
As a top performer in class, at work and in life, the duke of Emali story is captivating.
The book briefly captures the lives of notable Kenyans; the untold schooling days of Prof Kivutha Kibwana (first Makueni County Governor); Kalembe Ndile (Tip Tip Party leader and former Cabinet Minister); and former Machakos Governor’s Alfred Mutua’s father Thomas.
Future Meru County Governor Kiraitu Murungi is also mentioned in this book.
A enjoyable book; I base my conclusion on the fact that it is someone largely unknown, i.e not a politician etc, but his story presents simple but important facts such the Mau Mau supporters in Ukambani, the hate against the British Colonialists, the cultural rebellion by the Akambas against the charm offensive mounted by the British who ultimately, through even genocide or some form of biological warfare, ‘defeated’; the traditional Akamba ways of life.
“I went to alliance”
This part here is a whole notable history and is quite engaging.
The duke’s respect for his former school is unmatched; he even subsequently refers to it as The School – with the capital letter ‘T’ and ‘S’.
Kweli people who went to Alliance are different.
This book is road down memory lane for Richard Kioko, I’m sure most Kenyans will be inspired to pen their history, not just for their families, but also for their friends and relatives at large to preserve the family history.
Kioko lived through some notable years in Kenya.
Apart from the 1982 coup, capturing the virgin years of Alliance High School, the book also throws in some interesting-wouldn’t-be-known about Nairobi.
Kenya’s bribe-taking culture among the police is still the same since 1960s.
Nairobi’s nightlife is still the same; boozie and careless.
The incoming of HIV/AIDs into Kenya and how people grappled with it. Funny.
There’s a time the boys sneaked from Alliance High School, got into a drinking den, and found the larger-than-life James Gichuru, who shared a table with them.
It is through the book that one can also see that not much has changed in our culture of corruption, prostitution in Nairobi, crippling bureaucracy and conmnanship in govt.
The author is very brave to lay bare his struggling, a death by suicide in the family; witchcraft among cousins and the office politics chapter which saw Kioko fired at the height of his job.
One of the saddest chapter is about the struggle with ill health, but it ends beautifully. For any Kenyan without a medical cover, a serious health issue that can wipe out a family’s finances, is like a sword put at the back of the head, always threatening to fall down and send one to poverty and anguish.
In the book, Kioko reveals he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, he was also diabetic.
It took the intervention of many visits to the hospital in Kenya and abroad; a surgery and above all practising Autophagy and intermittent fasting to regain his health.
Best book about overcoming adversity and winning. Real life, living legend.
This is amust read for all.
Get inspired by Kioko’s story, buy the book from Nuria Store.