Monday, April 09, 2012

152. SHORT STORY MONDAY: The David Thuo Show by Samuel Munene

This short story is taken from the Caine Prize for African Writing 2010 anthology,  A Life in Full and other stories.

David Thuo runs a column in the Sunday News on social issues; actually, he claims to be a consultant on social issues. He is also the head of the Thuo family comprising of his wife, two daughters and a maid. For the first time mother and father quarrelled, the wife was accusing the husband of cheating and the husband was counter-accusing her for sleeping with her boss. The household dynamics seems to be weaker and there is no single bond binding them together. Again, there seems to be great tension among them so that even watching television becomes a platform to inflame passions.

The degeneracy of the family is not limited to the parents suspecting each other. Sharon the first child has two boyfriends and shares her time between them. The narrator, the second child, who pretends to be the best member of the household secretly reads a pornographic magazine she purchases every week.

Shinko, the maid, knows most of the things going on in the family. For instance she knows that Sharon has two boyfriends and the mother too keeps kissing a young boy who has been dropping her off every night. One evening, she came home late only to meet her maid sleeping with her husband on the sofa. A quarrel ensued and it was during the exchange of words that Dave got a hard evidence that the wife cheats on him using the demanding nature of her work as an excuse.
Author in green (Source)

The story seems to show how everything is not right with the Thuo, and for that matter every, family. The plot was difficult to follow and the story lacked something to connect all the different actions. Like most short stories, it remained in its nascent form and would have worked better if it had been fledged out.
About the author: Samuel Munene is a young Nairobi poet, short story writer, and contributor to Kwani? as well as various literary online magazines. He holds an economics degree from the University of Nairobi, and currently earns a living as a freelance writer. (Source)


  1. I'm sorry that this story wasn't extremely cohesive, but it does sound like there was a lot going on in that family! This might be something that I would enjoy reading for all the drama! Great review today, Nana!

    1. Yes, there is a lot going on. Something should have threaded through all.

  2. Nana, I think this story sets out to portray the decay in society. If the head of the family, can stoop to sleep with a maid, what wouldn't our presidents do? Our politicians muddy themselves just like Thuo who cannot keep his family together; by their very examples, our leaders seem to have lost grip on the people they govern and the country. The author uses sex to depict a society gone corrupt; the moral fibre of Thuo's family, just like African nations is in tatters; and mind you, the family is a microcsosm of the larger society

    1. I like your analogy. It makes perfect comparison.

  3. This story does not in the sligtest sound like one I will enjoy. All the same, I will read it when I get the chance. Thanks, Nana.

    1. Let me know what you think, when you read this book.


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