I only have two favorites among Swahili novels, and I am ashamed to admit it is because of how little of Swahili literature I read. I hope to make more of an effort in the future, because right now between a full-time job and kids, a jogging habit and a Netflix addiction, I have no free time. The two books are Kusadikika by Shaaban bin Robert and Siku Njema by Ken Walibora. I’m happy to report that Siku Njema has been translated into English as “A Good Day”.
I always considered it a tragedy that such a Swahili classic as Kusadikika has never been translated into English, and took it upon myself to do so. It’s an extremely amateur translation, I have never translated anything before, but I hope I did it justice. So how did I find the time to carry out this arduous task?
I started the translation in 2014 when I first came to Japan, and I had some free time. I was a research student and I hadn’t begun my PhD work yet. So I drafted the first translation then, which lay untouched for 8 years until last year when I picked it up again, polished it chapter by chapter, slowly over a year, whenever I could find any free time. I was finally ready to publish it this year.
In 2014, I had tried to contact the publishers for permission to translate the book, but they never responded to my emails. This year, I realized that it has been 62 years since the author passed away and copyright in Tanzania lasts for 50 years after the death of the author. So Kusadikika is now in the public domain. I was easily able to self-publish the book on Kindle Direct Publishing. I tried to publish it on Kobo too, but they said they are not accepting public domain works, their loss.
This is the first book I have ever published and I am so proud of myself. I am so happy I was able to accomplish this goal after 8 years!
I hope you enjoy the reading it in English, although it will never live up to the original Swahili. Find it in your Amazon website by searching for “Kusadikika” and select the English translation with the cover below. I’m including the link to the book in Amazon.com below.
I finally did it you guys. I published the English translation on Amazon Kindle.Get it on Amazon.com
Here it is in the Japanese amazon
You can also find it in your local Amazon website
By the way, I hope to publish memoirs of my life in Japan someday soon, and I am looking for a book agent to publish formally, because I want to reach as many people as possible.
If there is any publisher who wants to buy the publishing rights for this Kusadikika translation, please contact me 🙂
I would like to thank the 11 readers who have already bought the copy. Thank you for the support!