Dance of the Jakaranda: Book discussion with Peter Kimani

On Tuesday 13 March, 19:15 – 21:00, Peter Kimani will discuss his latest book ‘Dance of the Jakaranda’, published by Saqibooks, with Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame, Jnr (SOAS). Chaired by Dr Chege Githiora (SOAS).

1963. Kenya is on the verge of independence from British colonial rule. In the Great Rift Valley, Kenyans of all backgrounds come together in the previously white-only establishment of the Jakaranda Hotel. The resident musician is Rajan Salim, who charms visitors with songs inspired by his grandfather’s noble stories of the railway construction that spawned the Kenya they now know.

One evening, Rajan is kissed by a mysterious woman in a shadowy corridor. Unable to forget the taste of her lavender-flavoured lips, Rajan sets out to find her. On his journey he stumbles upon the murky, shared history of three men – his grandfather, the owner of the Jakaranda and a British preacher – who were implicated in the controversial birth of a child. What Rajan unearths will open his eyes about the birth not just of a child, but of an entire nation.

Where: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Organised in collaboration with the Centre of African Studies, University of London. This event is free and open to all, please book through Eventbrite.

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