'This is the novel Uganda—and not just Buganda—has been waiting for. Here, history comes alive in such sensual and accurate detail. For many of us who draw a blank when seeking pre-colonial family histories, this multi-layered story makes us re-imagine, reclaim, and yes, re-live what has been lost.' Doreen Baingana, author of Tropical Fish
'An ambitious modern epic that takes in family saga and the history of Uganda, fusing the urgency of the present with the timelessness of myth.' Jamal Mahjoub, author of The Drift Latitudes
In 1754, Kintu Kidda, Ppookino of Buddu Province, in the kingdom of the Buganda, sets out on a journey to the capital where he is to pledge allegiance to the new kabaka of the realm. Along the way, a rash action in a moment of anger unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations.
Time passes and the nation of Uganda is born. Through colonial occupation and the turbulent early years of independence, Kintu’s heirs survive the loss of their land, the denigration of their culture and the ravages of war. But the story of their ancestor and his twin wives Nnakato and Babirye endures. So too does the curse.
In this ambitious tale of a family and of a nation, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi skilfully weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break with the burden of their shared past and to reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was born in Uganda and moved to England in 2001 to study. She now teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University where she completed her PhD. Her work has been published by African Writing and Commonword. Her short story ‘Let’s Tell This Story Properly’ won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014. Kintu is her first novel and the winner of the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013. She is currently at work on her second novel.