Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award-winning debut.
In 1750, Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. In this ambitious tale of a clan and of a nation, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.
I finished reading Kintu and I’m in my feels.
When do you come to the realisation you now hold a book you’ve been reading very dear to you? For me it is when I can tell the story is about to end and with each page that brings me closer to the last, my body starts being weighed down with foreboding and I when I finish, I soak in the story and carry the heavy feeling with me hours later and could go on for weeks.
This is how Kintu has left me, like I’ve said goodbye to precious friends I still want in my life, friends who I want to check up on, and know-how they’re fairing because reading about the Kintu Clan has made me feel like I am one of them, as I am now emotionally connected to them.
The parallels I can draw from this book about Uganda history and politics is one that makes me sombre because of how similar it is to that of Nigeria and all I can say is fuck them Brits.
Kintu is a book which perfectly covers the complexities of families and navigating life, unapologetically Ugandan. A book that shows how resilient Ugandans are, a story that discusses yet doesn’t focus on the oppression rather it gives a vivid look into their lives, shows the nature of the people and how they thrived in the time of colonial rules, during the war and aftermaths.
This is a Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s fan account and you should read whatever she writes.
About the Author
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan novelist and short story writer, has a PhD from Lancaster University. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani Manuscript Prize in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her story “Let’s Tell This Story Properly” won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her second book is a collection of short stories, Manchester Happened and her third book, The First Woman are out now. Jennifer lives in Manchester, UK