Eloquent story of a journey to Kenya

By: ALLAUDIN QURESHI

“This book is about our ancestors, both family and collective. Our ancestors did not leave eloquent writings but they left eloquent lives.

Those lives are as eloquent as any words we admire in any political writing. It is our duty to read those lives and turn their sacrifices into the national narrative and national purposes they died for.”

These were the opening remarks of Pheroze Norowjee, whose book A Kenyan Journey was launched by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga recently.

The launch was hosted by Gina Din- Kariuki at Kaputei Gardens, Kileleshwa, in the presence of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, members of diplomatic corps, prominent politicians and local dignitaries.

MORE THAN JUST A HISTORY

A Kenyan Journey is more than just a history of Norowjee’s ancestors, their Indian origin and settlement in an unknown land.

It is about their sterling contribution to the land of their adoption. It is about national history and it mirrors the collective histories of many other families which have made Kenya their home.

Norowjee’s book is refreshing, informative and thought provoking.

More than the journey of a family, it explores the aspirations of people in all aspects of communal, cultural and political life.

Highlights of the history are captured, with illustrations, photographs, historical letters, post cards, legal documents and paintings. It’s a fascinating and colourful journey.

The Norowjee we know is a prominent lawyer, human rights activist and champion of the Asian African Heritage. He is one of the few members of the Asian community who have actively taken up the cause of human rights. Many younger lawyers cite him as a mentor.

Dr Mutunga echoed these sentiments at the launch, calling him “a mentor, great advocate and senior counsel.”

A Kenyan Journey is informative and poetic, making for effortless reading. Norowjee weaves his experiences, observations and sentiments of not only the South East Asian community but of the Kenyan nation as a whole. Some one very rightly commented, “the book is not an ordinary memoir of family ties and stories of long ago.

The writer’s purpose is both personal and political — to situate himself and others of Indian origin as rightful actors in their own story, and that of Kenya.”