Ken Walibora to be Honoured in China

  • File image of Ken Walibora, author and former NTV Swahili anchor
    File image of Ken Walibora, author and former NTV Swahili anchor
    Daily Nation
  • The late veteran author Ken Walibora is set to be honoured in China with plans underway three months after he was laid to rest on Wednesday, April 22 at his home in Cherangany, Trans-Nzoia County.

    The China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) set out plans to translate his famous novel Siku Njema into Chinese as they set to bring his scholarly work to the rest of the world.

    Yuning Sheng, a Chinese Scholar of Swahili studies and African linguistics who schooled in Germany researching on topics of East Africa was tasked with translating the book.

    Siku Njema was adopted as a secondary school set book between 1997 and 2003 and is one of the best works by Walibora. The idea of the book was based upon the author's childhood upbringing in Trans Nzoia.

    A collage of Swahili books Kufa Kuzikana (left) and Siku Njema (right) by the late author Ken Walibora
    A collage of Swahili books Kufa Kuzikana (left) and Siku Njema (right) by the late author Ken Walibora
    File

    "I am making a clarion call that the great author's books, over 40 of them, should be utilised as a catalyst of the translation process of Swahili literature to the world. A few months ago, a scholar from CASS asked me how to translate the late journalists novel Siku Njema into Chinese. I have a copy of the English translation A Good Day which he gave to me at a conference," Yuning Sheng wrote in his article on the Daily Nation on Saturday, July 18.

    However, Walibora's death hampered the collaboration which was shelved for some time, to be reviewed later on. 

    Yuning and Walibora met in 2019 at Walibora's house where the deceased gifted him with one of his books, Kalamu ya Maria Imepotea (2019), a book meant for Grade One pupils. 

    "The great author's death not only caused immense grief but also raised a debate on what Swahili literature stands for today," Yuning added.

    Walibora passed away on Friday, April 10 after being involved in a tragic road accident on Landhies Road, Nairobi.

    Among his other books are Ndoto ya Amerika and Kidagaa Kimemwozea, another popular book which was also used as a compulsory text in secondary schools in 2013.

    In addition to the two are Kufa Kuzikana, Tuzo, Ndoto ya Almasi and Damu Nyeusi co-edited with Said A. Mohamed.

    A photo collage of former NTV and KBC anchor, the late Ken Walibora
    A photo collage of former NTV and KBC anchor, the late Ken Walibora
    File