By Otieno Amisi
Daily Nation Newspaper, August 10, 2001

7(a) When Kenya”s leading writers and lit­erary captains meet next week at the University of Nairobi, they will have a rather unusual guest among them. The controversial writer and presidential hopeful, David Gian Maillu, will be sitting together with the 40 visiting Japanese journalists and scholars.

7(b) Maillu, who had no more than Primary School formal education,  now holds an earned doctoral degree in African Literature and Political Philosophy from the St. Clements University in Australia. The university”s citation on Maillu pours praise on his many works of fiction, religion and philoso­phy, including The Broken Drum, Our Kind of Polygamy and African Indigenous Political Ideol­ogy. Maillu has over 60 books in print and innumerable published articles in newspapers and journals.

7(c) The literary event, to be held next Tuesday, will be the launching of a new book of criticism on the works of Daisaku Ikeda, a Japanese scholar and honorary member of the Writers” Association of Kenya. The event has promised to include a toast in honour of Dr Maillu.

7(d) Maillu is best known as a prolific writer of humorous, sexually explicit pocket-size books like No, Unfit for Human Consumption, My Dear Bot­tle and After 4.30 in the 1970s. He has also been published in fields as diverse as poetry, drama, children”s fiction, philosophy and religion. He won Kenya”s coveted Jomo Kenyatta Prize for litera­ture in 1992 with Wahome Mutahi, a humour col­umnist with the Sunday Nation.

7(e) But the self-made 61-year-old writer is quick to play down on his academic achievement by saying, “The doctorate does not mean much to me. People get PhDs for doing lesser things. After I have been writing all these years, a doctorate does not make me a better writer.

7(f) The most confounding side to Maillu, a father of two, is his political dreams. “A writer is a politician,” he says, tightening his hold on his giant white flywhisk. “There is need for a new revolution. Look at Africa. All imported political models have failed.”

7(g) In readiness for the 2002 elections, the indefati­gable Maillu has formed a political party, Commu­nal Democracy of Kenya (CDK). As part of his political activities, he intends to launch a museum and community library in his Koola home town. He has also mobilized his constituents to  construct a bridge and a dam through the Kikonde Self-Help Water Project, which he founded.

7(h) Maillu’s works have earned him trips and workshops outside the country
On his many journeys, he collects stones, plants, and pieces of art, with which
he has built and deco­rated a unique home that stands out for its greenery an
architecture in the dry plains of Ukambani. The walls of his Ngei house in
Nairobi are decorated with his original paintings, as are most of his pub­lished

7(i) While working at the Voice of Kenya (now Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)
as a graphic artist, he met his German-born wife, Hannelore, who was then
working with The National Christian Council of Kenya, NCCK having been brought
to Kenya by the Bread for the World, a German agency.

7(j) But his first love is writing. “I am married to writ­ing,” he says proudly. Maillu
recalls, not without a tinge of bitterness, how he lost his publishing house, Comb
Books Ltd, through state-organized sabotage. The company was destroyed when
it employed 29 people. “The 1970s were difficult times for writers.”

7(k) Calling himself a long distance “intellectual” runner, Maillu is Africa’s most published author, whose works have been the subject of scholarly studies in many parts of Africa learning institutions. He also claims to be psychic and a palmist. He and his family live in Nairobi..