Kenya @ 50 by Joyce Nyairo is a book about the intersection of culture, identity and politics over the fifty years of Kenya’s independence. It tries to answer questions about how the state defines individuals and the means by which individuals shape their own sense of belonging. Joyce Nyairo rummages through a vast corpus of cultural productions to find the evidence for her claims—court cases, Soap operas, songs, obituaries, matatu slogans, NGOlingo, SMSs, emails, Tweets and the longer, autobiographical stories that Kenyans write about the people that they think they are. Some of her arguments about the Constitution of Kenya 2010 are decidedly radical. But her observations of the everyday ways and places in which Kenyans define themselves force one to think through the complex relationship between the Constitution and culture. Joyce Nyairo’s work reflects a deep concern for Kenya and Kenyans, but it is also not afraid to laugh at the worst of their endemic follies and failures.
– Willy Mutunga, Former Chief Justice/President, Supreme Court of Kenya.