Jail Bugs Wahome Mutahi aka Whispers
Jail Bugs Wahome Mutahi aka Whispers
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Jail Bugs

For Albert Kweyu, a tragic encounter with a child one Sunday morning leads to a jail sentence without the option of a fine. In this prison diary, Kweyu tells the sordid story of life behind bars. He lays bare the rampant corruption, moral depravity and beastility that prison conditions breed. It is indeed an indictment of a penal system that subjects human beings to living conditions and treatment that one would not wish on even the lowliest of creatures.

Written in the humorous style that has established Wahome Mutahi as Kenya’s leading satirist, The Jail Bugs disturbs while at the same time gripping the reader from beginning to the end.

Wahome Mutahi was popularly known as Whispers, echoing his humour column by the same name, which enjoyed the longest run in the Sunday Nation and the Sunday Standard, where it started in 1982.

Bar the brief period he was jailed on a trumped up charge of sedition in 1986, the column ran uninterrupted till his death in 2003. Through his satirical look on life and politics, Wahome offered Kenyans a weekly milieu of rib-crackers that also communicated salient social messages.

An author of repute, Wahome also wrote two novels inspired by his stint in jail, namely: Three Days on the Cross and Jailbugs. He also wrote a book looking at the idiosyncrasies that define Kenyans in How to be a Kenyan, and the thriller, Doomsday Conspiracy, that was published posthumously.

Wahome was also a prolific thespian who wrote and directed plays in the Gikuyu language, among them Mugathe Ndotono and Mugathe Mubogothi that caricatured a delusional dictator clinging on the vestiges of state power, even as his empire slides beyond his grasp – a perfect summation of the state of the affairs in many African countries after the end of the Cold War era.

-Photo and bio courtesy of Team Courage