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Kusadikika: A Country in the Sky by Shaaban Robert

Kusadikika: A Country in the Sky by Shaaban Robert

Kusadikika is a novel by Shaaban Robert, a Tanzanian poet and writer who is considered to be one of the masters of the Swahili language. The novel was first published in 1970 in Swahili as Kusadikika: Nchi Ilyio Angani, and later translated into English as Kusadikika: A Country in the Sky. The novel is an allegorical work that depicts an imaginary country where injustice, oppression and corruption reign supreme. The novel criticizes the colonial system and its effects on the African people and culture.

The novel follows the adventures of two young men, Mwenda and Mwita, who escape from their homeland of Utenzi, a country that has been colonized by a foreign power called Ulaya. They find themselves in Kusadikika, a country that is floating in the sky and is ruled by a tyrant named Bwana Mkuu. Kusadikika is a place where everything is upside down and absurd. The people are divided into classes based on their skin color, hair texture and nose shape. The laws are arbitrary and cruel, and the punishments are severe and humiliating. The people are brainwashed by propaganda and superstition, and they live in fear and ignorance.

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Mwenda and Mwita try to survive in this strange land, while also trying to find a way to return to Utenzi. Along the way, they encounter various characters who represent different aspects of the colonial system and its impact on Africa. Some of these characters are: Mwalimu, a teacher who tries to educate the people of Kusadikika; Mzee Mwoga, an old man who represents the traditional African wisdom; Bibi Mzuri, a beautiful woman who seduces Mwenda; Bwana Mkubwa, a wealthy businessman who exploits the workers; Bwana Ndogo, a corrupt official who oppresses the people; Bwana Mkuu, the dictator who rules Kusadikika with an iron fist; and many others.

The novel is a satire that uses humor, irony and symbolism to expose the evils of colonialism and its consequences. It also celebrates the African culture and values, and calls for resistance and liberation from foreign domination. The novel is considered to be one of the classics of Swahili literature, and has been widely read and studied in East Africa and beyond.About the Author

Shaaban Robert was born in 1909 in Vibamba village, Tanga, Tanzania, which was then under German colonial rule. His father was a Christian, but Shaaban returned to Islam. He received his education in Dar es Salaam, where he excelled in Swahili and English. He worked as a civil servant for various colonial departments, such as customs, game, and survey. He also became involved in the nationalist movement led by Julius Nyerere and the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). He died in 1962 in Dar es Salaam.

Shaaban Robert is widely regarded as one of the greatest Swahili writers and intellectuals of all time. He wrote poems, essays, stories, novels, biographies, and autobiographies in Swahili. He also translated works from English and Arabic into Swahili. He was influenced by both African and Oriental traditions, and used various forms and styles to express his ideas and emotions. He was a champion of the Swahili language and culture, and advocated for its preservation and development. He also promoted humanism, freedom, justice, equality, and dignity for all people. He was awarded the Margaret Wrong Prize and Medal for African Literature and was honored by the British government as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.).

Some of his most famous works include Kusadikika (To Be Believed), an allegorical novel that criticizes colonialism and corruption; Maisha Yangu (My Life), his autobiography; Maisha ya Siti Binti Saad (Life of Siti Binti Saad), a biography of a famous Swahili poetess; Insha ya Mashairi (Essays and Poems), a collection of his essays on various topics; Diwani ya Shaaban Robert (The Works of Shaaban Robert), a collection of his poems; Hadithi za Kufikirika (Stories to Think About), a collection of his short stories; Mapenzi Bora (The Best Love), a novel about love and marriage; and many others. 0efd9a6b88


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