Every writer knows his place in the food chain. If Mutuma Mathiu walked into a room, I would stand up and offer him my chair. And not just because he’s a big kahuna at NMG but also because I love his style of writing. His prose is like lime on fish fillet. I will also give my chair to Onyango Obbo, Kipkoech Tanui and Tony Mochama of The Standard. In short, I will give my chair to any colour writer. I’m a sucker for colour writing. Colour writers, dear IT and accountants, are writers who have bristling prose, writers who paint vivid pictures with words. Stories that get up and stroll out of pages.
Enter stage left; Oyunga Pala. Before we delve into Oyunga, allow me to educate the guys from central and north-eastern. Now, Pala, in Luo, means knife. Something that cuts deep, something that draws blood. But Oyunga is no XXX, Oyunga cuts with words. In campus, back in Uganda, Saturday Nation would arrive at the library at around 2pm. I would linger about school, waiting to read what Oyunga had written that week. What storm he was brewing. His style was fresh, his wordplay was unsurpassed and he was fearless. I stalked his work. Then ADAM magazine came about and I got a call to join them, to work under him, to be edited by him. Of course I was honoured. It was an opportunity to learn at the feet of the master.
Thing with meeting your favourite writers is that they will disappoint you; they will not be those guys you imagined them to be in your head. Oyunga ...... Read the entire article