Kintu is a multigenerational saga that tells the history of Buganda (Uganda) through the bloodline of Kintu Kidda. This epic story takes us from the 18th to the 21st century in six parts.
The book starts with the violent and unexpected death of Kamu which was borne out of a curse laid on the Kintu family by a bereaved family friend. The Kintu family then continue to live their lives, many unaware of the curse placed upon them and thus we read from generation to generation how members of the Kintu family are faring. Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is deeply entrenched in African traditions.
Reading this book will take you as a reader through a journey with the author as she addresses themes such as mental health, colonialism, religion, atheism, war, sexuality, generational family relationships, infertility, abuse, violence, neglect, incest, toxic masculinity and many more.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi writes the history of Uganda in such a way that reminds all Africans and non-Africans that Africa and Uganda existed before the emergence of white people and colonialism.
As many as the characters in this book were, we find them all unique and complex and each of them was written in such a memorable way. Each of the six parts in which the book is divided is written in such a strong and concise manner that they all seem like standalone stories.
The language of the book is straightforward and laced with “food for thoughts” which definitely shows why this book is praised as the “great, Ugandan book.”
Should You Read?
While the book may seem tasking at some point because of its many characters and information about each generation, the division into parts makes Kintu an interesting read. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi did a majestic thing with this book so pick it up when you can.