Book Review: Den of Inequities by Kinyanjui Kombani

Book Review, Den of Inequities, Kenya, Kenyan Writer

In “Den of Inequities”, Kinyanjui Kombani narrates to us methodically stories that portray the inequalities that exists within our country. From which he clearly demonstrates the gap between the rich and the poor, while focusing more on the life in the ghetto (slums). It brings to perspective our day to day incidences – from insecurity, corruption, inequality, injustices, and inadequacies in the government, institutions, streets and homes.

From the stories, we observe that it’s difficult to achieve the things we yearn for, like peace and unity, when these negative forces aforementioned exist. At the end of the day, all the characters in the book display a “survival to the fittest” kind of lifestyle. They all live a life where they’re constantly watching their back because, “you never know what could be thrown your way next.”

The book is mind-boggling – especially piecing up the stories and connecting the dots, because these manifestations in the society are a result of a ripple effect. From the student (Aileen, Miss University) who was pick-pocketed and was assisted by a stranger (Edward) in the matatu when the tout was about to throw her out in the middle of nowhere because she didn’t have fare. The stranger posed as student but he was also a leader of a sect, known as the Chama. The slum dweller (Omosh) who was arrested for no reason and imprisoned for three months, because the judge had had a bad day. Also because another Slum Dweller (Gosti) who was a police magnet, advised him to plead “guilty” to a charge for a wrong he had not committed, as it was the norm, the safest bet. The student’s (Aileen) father who was a doting father but also a corrupt minister and a member of the Chama, because it enabled him to win the elections.

Omosh’s wrongful imprisonment cost him his family and left without anything to look forward to, an unprecedented opportunity presents itself as he’s on the brink of death. One that makes him feel like justice has been served. Meanwhile, the police perform extra judicial killings in the name of disbanding the Chama, because they thought Chama was out to finish them.

A twist that paints a perfect picture of the current issues facing our country, done with a mix of creativity and realism. It’s the first book I’ve voluntarily read written by a Kenyan and published in Kenya – leave alone the set books we were made to read in high school, that was involuntary reading. This one, definitely worth a read, a best read!

Current Read: The Last Villains of Molo by Kinyanjui Kombani.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*