I met Ndiritu Wahome at Storymoja Literature Festival in Nairobi and as I’m a big fan of writing for children, it’s great to come across people here in Kenya who write for a younger audience, particularly if their writing is a shift away from the mainstream. Born in 1987, Ndiritu has been writing since he was thirteen and his latest book, The Sad Artist and Other Fairytales delves into the genre of magic realism through the lives of different people across society, for example the Artist, the Politician, the Businessman, the Young Man and the Child. He says that ‘…in their pursuit for success, each of the characters is faced with a different set of challenges, diverse set of lessons and dissimilar paths, which all lead to possible redemption.’ Ndiritu has kindly agreed to be featured on my blog and it would be wonderful if you could support him by looking at his website, buying his latest book from Amazon and finding out more about his writing life.
In Ndiritu’s words… The Sad Artist and Other Fairytales is a collection of stories that are deeply steeped in magical realism. I sought to look at the challenges people (including Artists, like me) face. Writing as an Art is itself redeeming, liberating, and can bring in the writer a deep sense of untold joy. Yet, like the diversities in life, the art of writing can be lonely, germane, and depressive sometimes. Even then, by telling stories in a magical fantasy setting, I sought to convey the message that even in the deep contrasts of life, there is some magic in the small things we do, and all we need is to look closer into ourselves to experience these things.
Even though the tales in this book are set in the mystical world of magical fantasies, I drew a lot of inspiration from present real life occurrences. Some of the vicissitudes espoused by the characters in the story, I have, as everyone else, one way or the next experienced them. Yet, my interactions with people from different backgrounds and ages fascinated me so much, that I could not stop thinking too about these different experiences that every person goes through.
Magical fantasies are mostly perceived as childish, and one may be inclined to think this way. However, many of the stories in The Sad Artist and Other Fairy Tales are written not only for children and the young adult, but even for the grown up. The moral that weaves through the series of these stories is the idea that your dreams are valid, and can be achieved, no matter how your present reality may look like. All of us will agree that this ideal is true for adults, as it is for children.’
The target audience of The Sad Artist and Other Fairytales is for ages 13-22 but both younger and older people can also enjoy them.
‘What you ask of me is too much. Nevertheless I will think about it.
However, I must tell you something,” she said. “I have one who loves
me. He has me. We are in a serious relationship. We have been together
from the very day we were born. We have grown together, and I have
come to love him dearly.’
Adapted from the story ‘The Boy Who Loved a Girl.’