Government accused of ignoring new writers when picking curriculum books

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 05:00 | By
Andrew Maina of Kendeka Prize for African Literature address journalists at MKU in Thika PHOTO/Courtesy

A group of writers have called on the government to give upcoming authors and publishers a chance in partnerships when vetting books for the new curriculum.

Andrew Maina of Kendeka Prize for African Literature complained that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) only considers established writers and publishers.

Speaking during an authors’ forum at Mount Kenya University, Thika campus yesterday, the authors said such restrictions demotivate upcoming writers.

They said the system should be more open to give space for new writers and publishers to penetrate the market, adding that if not addressed, the trend might affect the future of writing in the country.

“We have several upcoming writers who want to venture into writing for the curriculum. What the government should do is support them by opening the market through partnerships. As things stand; the market has been dominated by established writers and publishers and is hard to penetrate,” said Maina (pictured). 

He also blamed the country’s reading culture, saying only for a handful of Kenyans buy books.

“We can barely survive on writing alone and that’s why the government should intervene through streamlining marketing. Kenyans too should embrace the reading culture and buy books,” he said.

Scholastica Moraa, an author and Brenda Cherono, a MKU student, decried the high cost of publishing and marketing books, saying most of the materials are lying on the shelves unpublished.

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