I just started reading Tony Mochama’s “Nairobi A Night Guide Through the City in the Sun”, and I started feeling a sense of exhaustion. I know you should figure sex and chronicles of drunken stupors would be in it from the name. It is a reality of the world we exist in, but I am so tired of hearing, seeing and reading it.
Each writer is entitled to share what they feel and art in all its forms are an expression of the societies we live in and perceive them. And each writer, like a painter, will sketch what they interpret is relevant from the society they lived in. Not everyone will be obsessed with political revival and democracy like the Ngugis of this world or the challenges of class struggle or mysticism, Spirituality and the afterlife like Ben Okri.
At times I stop and ask myself whether an obsession with sex is in itself an escape from what some may perceive as more important? Then who determines what is important? I know this is a very circular argument. I wonder why I feel a sense of exhaustion and irritation when I read about red lipped, rotund rear-ed prostitutes attempting to lure customers. I understand the importance of objectivity and understanding an individual’s perspective, but…you know what? I will quit whining and finish Tony’s book and give a clearer review.
But before I do that I am curious. Why, if the human body was clearly and carnally wired to want food and sex, why do we focus more on the latter and less of the former? Why can’t we have epic novels on the Cookie Monster and his explosive appetite ravaging through the villages and decimating kitchens and fields to atone his insatiable appetite?
I don’t know? I am just curious as to whether great stories revolve around C.S. Lewis or more 50 Shades of Grey? Is it about capturing my imagination by what could be, or through showing me what is? I don’t know. That’s for you to decide.
First published on http://blog.storymojafestival.com