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Bound to Tradition by Akinyi Princess

Bound to Tradition Written by Akinyi Princess

 

Bound To Traditions is a contemporary literary novel, ca. 170,000 words in length, exploring the vagaries of gender attraction, the interpretations of cultural diverseness, the resolve and conviction that propels the post-independent African generations to elevate modernity above the traditional mores and lifestyle.

 

A young village girl is exposed to modernity in the late 1960s Kenya, when she is sent to a missionary boarding school where she resolves to strive for “European-high-society” life if she has to cheat and lie her way to it. Luo-traditions-bred Khira and Swedish industrialist Erik are diverse to each other from age to zoolatry. While the forty-year-old industrialist wants to adopt the sixteen-year-old girl, Khira wants both his name (modernity) and his bed, for him to “help me get rid of the sentinel guarding the Gate of Life”. She is determined to get both if it takes the colourful witchdoctor Wach…

 

She has everything she ever strove for, climbing all the way to the position of Group Vice Chairman of the Lindqvist Group. But twelve years deep in her marriage and five children later, Khira has second thoughts about her Luo traditions. Behind Erik’s back, she has their hardly twelve-year-old daughter “initiated into womanhood” with devastating results to lives of family members and her marriage to Erik. The edge my novel has over other similar works I’ve read is its authenticity. It lacks the voyeuristic Eurocentric viewpoint of Africa, that treats it as a single country rather than a continent with thousands of different cultures. A sequel to the book is being professionally edited by Bruce L. Cook of Cook Communications, NC.

 

The young Luo girl Khira, fights against the traditions of her people and society in order to achieve her personal modern world. Half orphaned, she is brought up by her extended maternal family in very conservative Luo traditional values. At the age of five months she gets engaged to the neighbour’s son, Barry, who himself is only six years old. The two have their first major conflict over a happy birthday kiss when Khira is six, Barry twelve.

 

Khira’s life changes when, at age twelve, she is sent to a British missionary boarding school, St Mary’s. Here she meets other schoolgirls of her age and older, but with a completely different “modern” upbringing – the daughters of Kenya’s political and economical elite. For the first time she learns about the world outside her family and clanspeople.

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These schoolmates become Khira’s role models. She listens, watches and imitates them as well as her European and Euro-American teachers, and in particular her fifty-year-old Englishwoman headmistress, Miss Churchill, who is unmarried and devoted to missionary work. Soon she’s the perfect chameleon – during exeats and holidays she slips into the Luo “well-bred maiden”, but during school terms she strives to be ultra modern in thought and behaviour. She is introduced to lovemaking a few weeks after joining the boarding school by her best girlfriend Joyce, three years older than her. This is “routine” among many boarders at St Mary’s but kept very clandestine.