David G Maillu

I stand as the most published author in the African continent.  I am a creative writer, essayist, playwright, painter, sculptor, musician (composer) – guitarist. I am a graphologist, face-reader and palmist

My Story

I was born in colonial Kenya. With regard to my birth date, my mother said, “When people were talking about the starting of the Second World War.” That, of course, must have been in 1939. With regard to the actual month and date, she said, “During the harvest of cow peas.” That harvest embraces September and October. That was as much as she could say. I had to use other means to determine the whereabouts of the birth date. Using the knowledge I have gathered in astrology, and basing the assessment on my natural behaviour, I concluded that I am a Libran. Then, in order to silence too many questions, I decided to author the birth date. I chose 19th October. But I did not choose the date anyhow. I have studied numerology and, according, supported by my temperament, I chose 19, because 1-plus-9 is ten.

My biological father died when I was quite small. I have little recollections of his physical features. My mother was the fifth and last wife of my father. After my father’s death, my mother returned to her parental home with three children. She “we” eventually remarried a loving man and got three more children from him.

In 1949 I decided to go to church, responding to the Christian terror of warning people of seeking life-everlasting and avoiding being hurled into hell, into fire whereby we will burn eternally without dying. Being the first person in my family to go to church, went to the Salvation Army Sunday School then graduated in baptism. When it came to baptism time, we were told to go home, think and choose the baptism name. I chose David because I had fallen in love with the biblical David. I presented the name to the satirizing authority and, baptized under the red and white flag of the Salvation Army, I became David, a name I would not abandon for whatever reason since, to me, it marks the historical chronology of my being.

Now that I had got baptized and opened a new chapter in my life, on my own, I decided to go to school. One day I told my parents, “I want to go to school.” They did not object it. I was the second born, following a sister. In those colonial days, sending girls to school was unnecessary. My parents would never thought of sending my sister to school. My father, an orphan, had been to school for only two years, basically to learn how to read and write letters. Somehow, my father felt I would make up for what he had lost in further education. Indeed, he built the foundation of my education. I never wore a pair of trousers until I went to school. The khaki pair of trousers had to be made out of secondhand material from my father’s clothes. I never got treated by a medical doctor until I was aged fifteen.

I went to school when I was 12. Colonial administration did not encourage going to school early. During my entry to school, at a Salvation Army School, I enrolled for Standard One class together with adults, to give an illustration, with a mother and son in the same class. The first important lesson we had in school was to recite the Bible. After four years of primary education, I sat for a national colonial education examination, called Common Entrance Examination which, in those days, marked the end of further education. I passed the examination and joined what was referred to as Intermediate School (Standard 5 to 8), whereby we sat for the Kenya African Primary Education (KAPE). There would be another examination after two years, called Kenya Junior Secondary Education, then finally the East Africa Cambridge School Certificate examination (The O-Level).

My formal education finished at KAPE level. In those times, High School were only 4 in the Kenya colony, with an intake of only 45 students to enter High School. I went to a technical school to learn the trade of Painting and Decorating, which took 3 years. It was at that time that I enrolled for correspondence course with the British Tutorial College, to study for the High School education. That correspondence course experience laid the foundation for extra-long journey of self-education. The struggle of studying alone unearthed my gift in writing. I would never see the inside of any formal education class. Over the years, my home became my High School and finally my University. Right from my Intermediate and Technical Schools, I developed passion in African Art, Literature and Sociology. The full story of my academic development is presented in my forthcoming Autobiography.

I married in January 1970. My wife is German, Hannelore, from Berlin. I have two daughters, Kavuli and Mwende. Kavuli is an Interior Architect, which she studied in England. Mwende, married to a Swiss with whom they have a son, hold a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

David G Maillu

My Books

My Jennet

For Mbatha and Rabeka

The Government's Daughter

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