Chubot the Cursed One and Other Stories

A recurring theme is the role of women in society and their longing for equity, their triumph often depicted by heroines catapulted by circumstances rather than deliberate action of society to engineer their success.

Women’s humility is felt through the stories, even in the face courage to confront taboos and traditions with society contributing little towards their success. Indeed, women’s triumphs are captured as happening where men fall short.

Many of these stories raise the question of why society lacks systematic approach to women’s empowerment.


Adhiambo lived in the Kibera slum, on the sixteenth alley, in a small two bed-roomed house. She had two daugh­ters and a son. To earn a living she sold ground nuts by the roadside and begged for alms from passers-by. Every evening after her work at the road side she would send her two daughters, Atieno and Aoko, to the street to beg for alms. One evening she closed her ground nut business early and came home to prepare her daughters to go out as usual.

Atieno and Aoko had just come from school when they heard, “Kitendawili?” It was their mother.

“Tega!” they all replied and ran towards the door, bub­bling with joy. They were used to communicating in innu­endoes, insinuations and allusions; their conversations were heavily coded, and only them could understand one another.

Read the Story "Kitendawili"

What others say

“Chubot, the Cursed One & Other Stories is an exciting variety of stories which interrogate issues that challenge the contemporary society. The stories, narrated in simple and accessible style, present the dilemmas of complex issues like abortion, choice of criminal life and political intolerance among others with stark reality that invite the reader into self-reflection. On this score, the stories are not only entertaining literature but they also voice the questions we ask ourselves of what is happening around us, effectively opening our critical minds to the same issues.” - Dr. Rose A. Opondo, Lecturer, Moi University

“The stories illustrate a compelling sense of place. They transport the reader to experience the events first-hand.” - Jennifer Amoah, retired teacher and book editor

“In these very captivating stories, Okemwa captures the feminine feeling and tone in all of them. On reading The Cowardly Girl, I could hear the feminine protest and was glad to run to safety with Nyamoita. Further, with the author holding you by the hand, as a reader you visit various types of settings; the rural as with The Cowardly Girl and Urban as with Kitendawili. You also reflect on diverse gender-related problems that women face; female genital mutilation (FGM) in Gusiiland, Poverty in Slumland and the cosmopolitan city and the list goes on. In this collection, Okemwa has yet again proved himself through the short story genre." - Prof. Wangari Mwai- Kenyatta University

“Okemwa, observant as ever, is at it again with superb storytelling, making us ‘experience’ lives of story characters and Kenyan society; he makes it very real.” – Anonymous