Guest post+giveaway: Robert Mwangi: The Dream that is Africa {Spring Fling Giveaway Hop}

  • Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who can relate to being an immigrant? Pulled out of your culture and your life as you know it, it takes a lot of you to assimilate into a new culture, and rebuild your life. I know because I am an immigrant myself.

Today I welcome Robert Mwangi to the blog today. He hails from Kenya, calls the US his new home, and he has a story to share that is entrenched in both cultures. He wants to share his story with 3 of my readers -- so check out the giveaway of his new book A Whisper in the Jungle at the end of this post. 

So, tell us all about Africa, Robert!


The Dream that is Africa
by Robert Mwangi

Amazon.com: Paperback | Kindle Edition 
They woke me up at 2 am and told me that it was my turn to keep watch over the fire. A hyena laughed nearby and I groggily threw some wood into the flames. There were five of us sleeping under a huge thorn tree in the middle of the African jungle with no tent. All we had were our sleeping bags and a fire to protect us from the wild animals.

I stood up and paced around the sleeping bundles on the ground. I gripped the stick in my hand and narrowed my eyes into the dark trees. At the age of sixteen, I was afraid of nothing and too young to understand death.

We had seen lion prints on our way into camp and had been advised that they only came out at night. So far, all I had seen were the glowing eyes of the hyenas, excited by the smell of our flesh and the shimmering light of the fire.

At dawn, we cleaned out our camp and got rid of everything that did not belong in the jungle: candy wraps, empty cans and other trash. I stood up and strapped my backpack on, and then scanned the forest and hills around me. Everything was so green, so magical.


With the morning sun rising higher by the minute, five heads leaned over the map and we quickly calculated the distance and direction of our next destination. The coordinates pointed us deeper into the forest and we shuddered with excitement as our journey continued.

Along the way we met buffaloes and laughing monkeys. The gigantic sizes of the giraffes were fascinating but it was the lion prints on the ground that fully caught our attention. The worry moved from our hearts to our faces and our eyes scanned the bushes in fear.

“We have to get to camp before dark!” the scout leader said and we hastened our steps.

I looked up at the sky and knew that we weren't going to make it. The thought of a lion chasing us tilted delicately at the back of my mind.

Late in the evening, the sun dropped behind the clouds; sooner than we had anticipated and shadows appeared in the trees. “Faster!” the scout leader yelled.

A twig cracked in the bushes and we started running. My heart pounded like a drum. I thought about my brothers and sisters, and wished that I had stayed home. In a moment of despair, I was thinking the wrong thoughts.

With our feet pounding the ground, a silhouette suddenly appeared to my right and I gasped. I half turned in fear and scanned the bushes … and then I saw it and I stopped running.

There in the trees, an AK 47 rifle at ready to protect us was a game ranger. In the dim dusk light, he made a thump up sign at me and then vanished just as quickly as he had appeared. I walked the rest of the way to camp, my heart at peace, the fear gone from my face.

Many years later, I look back to my jungle days with a lot of fondness. These were the same jungles that my ancestors had hunted, that my father had grown up in: and now, the trees whisper to me in my dreams and in my every waking moment... to not forget about Africa.


About Robert Mwangi
Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Robert Mwangi was born under the hills of Mt. Kenya. In a post-colonial Africa, his mother moved to the city in search of work and it was here that Robert was introduced into the new Africa: a blend between African traditions and Western culture. While teachers encouraged kids to read books about Africa, Robert Mwangi occasionally stole under a tree with a Robert Ludlum, Danielle Steel or Enid Blyton. These books transported him to worlds across oceans and expanded his imagination.

Giveaway!


Robert is giving away 3 copies (Paperback or Kindle Edition)
Open International!
Please use Rafflecopter below
(be patient, sometimes it takes a while to load)


Amazon.com: Paperback | Kindle Edition
Synopsis: Deep in the African jungle where even the bravest are afraid to venture, lies a truth that will propel James through his improbable American journey, if he can come out alive. James a village boy in Africa receives a scholarship to go and study in America and he becomes the envy of the whole village. His girlfriend Janny is however skeptical of what a long distance relationship can do to love. But when Janny vanishes from the village, James and his dog Simba plunge into the belligerent forest at the risk of his life and his American dream. Love transcends all. A Whisper In The Jungle is a suspense story full of love, humor, adventure and mystery.
Check out the rest of the blogs in this hop and maybe get some new reads!

19 comments

  1. Robert Mwangi is such a great inspiration! He can spread the world about his country with different way. He doesn't give up. And i like his spirit.

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  2. Wow! I can't WAIT to read this! I love that cover, too ; )
    I wonder what kind of events or people inspired the author while writing this book!?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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  3. Robert, where do you get your inspiration?
    Thanks for a fantabulous giveaway and the chance to win it!

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  4. I look forward to reading this book and find out how your long distance relationship with your girlfriend survived. I want to read A Whisper in teh Jungle

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  5. This looks great! I too love to read books to explore new places and expand my imagination, and this looks like such a great book for that!

    Brynna

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  6. My question is how did the idea come up for this book?

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  7. Love the cover, it looks great.

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  8. Hi guys. My name is Robert and am the Author of the book. Thank you so much guys for your kind words and here's my 2pc response

    Plot

    I do not do plot. I'm a free writer. I put my head down and I have no idea what am writing about until its over. However, the story has to be triggered by something: a song, a movie, an incident. It has to disturb my mind enough for me to want to write about it, and when am done, I feel like I have offloaded something.

    For this book A Whisper in the Jungle, I think I was watching the Gladiator movie when my mind was triggered. This movie has so many poetic lines. For example: Is Rome worth the life of one good man?
    I would jump up, put pause on the movie, run to the computer and start typing furiously. Everyday after work, I came home and typed a little and it felt great. After a year, I had 600 hundred pages full of crap. I went back and realized that I had written the story of my life.
    Oh my gosh! I was shocked. I had actually written a book without knowing. So I went to the library and did some research. Tried to find out what other African writers had written about and I discovered that as genius as their writing was...Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thion'go... all they had done was tell their stories from the bottom of their hearts.
    I think the biggest thing I discovered in the library was that, our story, your story, is not just your story, but also the story of the people around you... your generation.

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  9. the setting sounds interesting

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  10. i would love to read your book, i would love to learn more about kenya as i have some kenyan friends here in kansas :)

    rafflecopter name nicole krutz

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  11. Hello Robert, so nice of you giving away 3 book to win. I'm just curious, "What is the best part of your book that we should know?"

    Thanks for the giveaway ;p

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  12. Hi Ashtrie

    I can't pick out a particular part but I can say this. A Whisper in the Jungle raises questions about the society we live in and yet, the book does not pretend to have answers. Rather what it does is stir thoughts in the readers' minds and empowers them to find the answers.

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  13. How long does it take you to write a complete book, after you have the intial concept?

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  14. Authors like Danielle Steele can write two books in one year. It takes me a year to write a book and another to edit. Editing involves making sense of the madness: joining the dots, replacing weak verbs, trashing the passive voice etc One's book becomes a blur after reading it over and over. Its recommended: set the book aside even for months, give it to a friend to read, join a critique group or hire a professional.

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  15. This sounds like a good story! I've been intrigued in Africa after my grandparents have actually taken several trips there, and I've heard stories of their travels. I'm definitely interested in Robert's book, as I'd like to see Africa through the eyes of someone who has lived there.

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  16. Is there any part that was difficult for you to write?

    daveshir2005@yahoo.com
    fb/ shirley greenawalt zolenski

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  17. It is said that book is the window of the world. Reading this book surely would give me a new experience. Thanks for sharing and making it international, Robert. It'd give people chance to learn more about the other side of the world, about Kenya. Wish you more succeed with your writing. :)

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  18. Thanks guys for the wonderful comments.
    Am a free writer and when the topic is Africa, I can write all day because its inside me. Give me another topic and I will scratch my head all day. Its already happening with my third book.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall