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This is not a love story; neither is it a story about love… The UglyBeautiful Tale of a stupid, Stupid Heart is a story (both fictitious and real yet imaginatively recounted and recreated anew) about ‘living a lie a day at a time until death suddenly, fiercely shuts its dark door of mercy, and tramples one upon the vast emptiness. This is especially the case when David and Wairimu (apparently engaged in a forbidden passion), unfortunately, find themselves in the unforgivable, cruel, and menacing jaws of death in Runyenjesthanks to a bloodthirsty mob that is on a killing spree and eager to avenge thedeaths of their fellow tribesmen butchered earlier in Rift Valley, Kisumu and the Coast.

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The UglyBeautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart is a riveting tale of a blind, carefree, yet kindest of the hearts that will amuse and anger, tickle, and unfortunately makes you shed a tear! Set in Mount Elgon, Western Kenya, the book tells a story of two neighboring families (that of Joram and that of Sikowo) hailing from the Bok, who happens to be the majority, and the Ndorobo, apparently a persecuted minority, respectively. At the core of their perennially paradoxical relationship, is the ever-emotive issue in our modern-day Kenya: land. This is not a love story; neither is it a story about love…

The UglyBeautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart is a story, fictitious and real yet imaginatively recounted and recreated anew, about living a lie, a day at a time until death suddenly, fiercely shuts its dark door of mercy, and tramples one upon the vast emptiness. This is especially the case when David and Wairimu, apparently engaged in a forbidden passion, unfortunately, find themselves in the unforgivable, cruel, and menacing jaws of death in Runyenjes thanks to a bloodthirsty mob that is on a killing spree and eager to avenge the deaths of their fellow tribesmen butchered earlier in Rift Valley, Kisumu and the Coast.

David is a dynamic character whose emotions, attitudes, and temperaments are unfathomable. After betraying his childhood sweetheart, Chebet, and subsequently abandoning her in her most needy hour to face an accusing world after an unexpected pregnancy all by herself, he discreetly falls in love with Wairimu. Wairimu is an exceedingly beautiful, gorgeous, exquisite, marvelous, and amazing young woman whose irresistible charms, wit, and affection takes his life to places unknown…and finally, to his grave! The book explains how successive regimes helped plant a seed of animosity between the two Sabaot sub-tribes, watered it, and pruned its branches until its fruition stage. After decades of blatant indecisiveness, Sabaot Land Defense Force was born. The bloodthirsty militia will eventually set up a parallel government and fronted a leader of its choosing who won the Mount Elgon constituency parliamentary seat with a landslide in the contested 2007Kenyan General Elections.

The book also wittingly revisits the 2007/2008 Post ElectionViolence, why it all had to happen, why it might happen yet again, and implicitly offers a pathway that might save Kenyans from an imminent recurrence. Most important, in detail, it explains the recipes that often give birth to militias in modern-day Kenya whose illegitimate act of trying to solve a legitimate issue is rarely refreshing (as was the case with Sabaot LandDefense Force). More so, the book gives you an ideal picture of how it was living through those turbulent moments when Kenyans were maimed, beheaded, evicted, forcibly circumcised, robbed, raped, and shattered lives of fellow Kenyans. It is a necessary retreat to ‘that’ ugly past that we would have loved to forget as soon as last year…that past that is indeed a dark chapter in our history as a country that we must draw meaningful lessons from.

We must thus make your default duty reminding our seemingly ever-self-centered, crafty, and unpredictable leaders that never again should they take us back there. The UglyBeautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart is a unique, nostalgic, and candid manifestation of our everyday struggles, challenges, and hurdles in life with ourselves and others. Many a time, such hurdles are direct consequences of personal decisions resulting from the usual interactions and the seemingly never-ending complex relationships with our friends, relatives, neighbors, and the ruling elite in our society.

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