The Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi has supported the move to dispel the myth that David Livingstone crossed into the African continent in the mid-19th Century on a philanthropic mission to civilize primitive Africans, rather their objective was to map out tactics of colonialism.
Speaking during the launch of ‘David Livingstone: The Wayward Vagabond’ authored by Ambassador Marx Kahende, Dr. Kituyi said the book is the first to debunk myths that the Scottish explorer and missionary discovered Africa’s rich natural resources and taught us how we can benefit from them.
“Contrary to what we learnt in primary school about Africa’s history, it has taken us 82 years to have a book detailing a narrative about discoveries in an African perspective,” said Dr. Kituyi.
In his speech, The Wayward Vagabond writer Amb. Marx Kahende said his book is a satire narrated an omniscient free soul from heaven known as ‘Everywhere’, a God’s special envoy sent to the world to witness history and consequences for humanity. This spirit, according to Kahende, rides on wind, walks on water, enters into the characters’ stream of consciousness and also discerns how they interpret the world around them.
He read an excerpt on page 2 of his book, “You see, my name is Everywhere, the free soul who escaped from Heaven from my scheduled flight on earth…I could not imagine living in India or China…Lately, Heaven has elevated me to the status of special envoy on earth, an ambassador at large, but not plenipotentiary and extraordinary.”
But what inspired him to write such a rather-controversial novel?
“I believe Dr. David Livingstone came to Africa as a spy and not a missionary as it is alleged in Africa’s history. While he (Livingstone) was a qualified surgeon, why didn’t he carry scalpels, scissors or any anaesthetic drugs but only carried pens and notebooks? Was that really a philanthropic mission?” posed Kahende.
The ambassador added that the historical novel depicts an investigative piece that unmasked various adventures undertaken by David Livingstone in various countries such as Zambezi River in Zimbabwe that was renamed Victoria Falls after his alleged discovery.
Also present was Kisumu County Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who applauded Kahende for his outstanding witty literary work, which the governor recommended to be scripted in a movie to show a critic of missionary and imperialism.
EAEP Chief Executive Director Kiarie Kamau said the publication of the book debunks the myth by those who denigrate Africa and its past through a deep imagination that portrays Africa as a rich continent with valuable resources.
Published by East African Educational Publishers (EAEP) David Livingstone: The Wayward Vagabond is available at various bookshops in Nairobi, on Amazon and on africanbookscollective.com