Wayward Eastlanders


After the death of her fiance, Wanjiru separates herself from her young son and escapes the suffocation of her life in Nairobi, boards a bus to Mombasa. Waiting to host her is Barack, an engineer who is returning to Nairobi after many years in Mombasa, to escape the memories of his complex relationship with a Muslim woman who died tragically in his hands. In Barack’s Nyali penthouse, Wanjiru finds herself trapped by her affection for the razor-sharp, complex, egotistical man who is obsessed only with maintaining the tight social rigours of his Bohemian lifestyle, working hard by the day and partying hard by the night. His only dream in life is to leave Mombasa in his own physical or emotional ways to escape the anxiety of growing old. They begin to form an emotional bond that teeters on the edge of being called love, both of them knowing that if they ever choose to do so, it will break the idyll in which they're living. For Wanjiru, Mombasa means everything. Mombasa is a dream-come true and the future. Here she makes friends and starts to build a life she loves. When Wanjiru begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of becoming more than a housemate, Barack finds himself powerless as ever to resist her siren song.

The New Girl In Mombasa is a portrait of two people running from a troubled past and moving towards an uncertain future. Set in Mombasa, Kenya’s famed coastal city of rich historical heritage and Swahili culture, it is a haunting look at loneliness, the struggle for love, belonging and independence. Its beauty lies in its subtlety, its emotional nuances. And Mombasa is glamorous, seductive, magical, always looped around by the sensuous, unrelenting rhythm of night clubs, and steeped in hookups, revelry, barhopping, and the pleasures of the beach parties.




Novel, 416 pages
Published by Oba Kunta Octopus