Reformed drug trafficker’s book is all the rave

Posted: July 12, 2008 in Events, Issues, News, Personalities
Tags: , , , , , ,

Judy Akinyi, or Saga MacOdongo, if you like, is the latest sensation in the Kenyan literary scene. Every one now seems to want a piece of her. Well, I will not deny her the right to be feted by literary enthusiasts. She has earned it. Her book Deadly Money Maker is currently the talk of town. The book was written while she was serving a jail term at the Langata Women’s Prison, for drug trafficking.

A former lecturer at the Kenya Polytechnic, Akinyi fell to the lure of quick money and plunged into the underworld. Her dream of overnight riches evaporated into thin air when on coming back from her maiden trip as a mule, she was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The drug queen, who had introduced her into the illegal business left her to her own devices, and that is how she found herself cooling her heels at Langata. It seems odd and cruel that she would be arrested even before she tasted the fruits of her “work”. Well, word on the ground has it that, she had been set up as a pawn. She was earmarked to be a sacrificial lamb. This theory goes on to further suggest that drug lords and drug enforcement officials sometimes work in collusion.

The plan, it is said, is to have an unfortunate mule arrested, after a certain period of time, so as to show the public the war against drugs is alive and well. Thus, poor Akinyi found herself in the middle of a complex web and suffered the consequences

As fate would have it, it was not long before she got her chance to exact revenge.  The drug queen, who sold her short, was finally arrested and was to be tried in the US. Akinyi was only too willing to testify against her. Akinyi’s testimony was all the justice system in the US needed to finally put the other woman behind bars.

Akinyi had not finished her sentence when she was released courtesy of a presidential pardon. Shortly after her release, Kwani? featured her in their monthly prose reading sessions, the Sunday Salon in June. Storymoja were waitinng in the wings and no sooner had Kwani? finished with her, they snapped her up with an even bigger and more elaborate schedule.

The readings kicked off on July 5 at the Wheels Restaurant along Ngong Road, followed by another one at the Das Restaurant in Westlands, the following day. On Saturday July 12, they were at Choma Vision along Thika Road. Their next event takes place on Sunday, July 27 at Tea Pot Restaurant, along Koinange Street from 2p.m. to 6p.m. The host will be radio personality Valentine Njoroge.

This is on top of the numerous TV interviews she has made in the intervening period. And Maisha Yetu reveals that a movie project, based on the book is in the works. Watch this space for developments. All this hype will definitely do a lot of good to the book, which might boost its sales. Hopefully then, she might not be tempted to go back into crime.

One thing though, all this hype risks getting into her head. Before you accuse me of sour grapes let me explain; Soon after her release, a journalist with one of the leading papers in Kenya called her seeking for an interview. After taking him round in circles postponing the interview, she finally asked him if he would pay her! To cut the long story short, the interview eventually did not materialise.

And how come her publishers, Paulines Publications are not getting any mentions? Could it be that they are just content to have their book marketed for them?

  1. Nice article and review of Akinyi’s story. Maybe just to correct you, am in charge of marketing at Paulines Africa and before Akinyi found a place in Kwani’s Sunday Salon, I organised it all and ofcourse thats where Storymoja, Misiko Andere of NTV and many more got to know about her worthy story. They also got contacts of her from me, and more so i have been working my head off to see her on all the front readings you hear about, maybe its those who right who don’t want to recognise these efforts too!

  2. ERIC GICHIRA says:

    Hope you can host my contact address in your blog, given that
    i don’t have a website yet:

    My Postal address contact is:
    P.O BOX 9300 – 00200

  3. don says:

    A great review. Sounds like a good read. Is it possible to buy this book online?

  4. Pam Nangira says:

    Ngunjiri – pls note that Pauline publishers is owned by pauline sisters. This is a catholic sisters ordained group whose mission is solely to spread the good news through print and air. Making a name for themselves is not one of them. changing a soul is suffice

  5. Alba says:

    Hiya – I found this site by mistake. I was looking in Google for PDF software that I had already bought when I came upon your site, I must say your page is pretty informative, I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time today to fully read your entire site but I bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feeds. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a great site.

  6. Benard says:

    Let me also get this chance to give out my also serving a sentence in prison and if i’ll get your assistance,i’ll be 26,with certificates in electrical eng.also with something to start afresh my life.

  7. Rebecca Nandwa says:

    Judy is a great person at heart. I have met her on several occasions and she has lemon into lemonade instead of whining about what the government should do for ex inmates.
    She is a great inspiration.

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