Banker turned self-published writer, Luke Ameru, pens poems on everyday city life in this book No Longer Stunted published in 2018. The crazy road traffic, environmental degradation, climate change, gambling, family, and famine are some of the issues in this body of work.
Ameru dedicates the 206-page book to his children, citing the inspiration to put ink to paper as his “desire to immortalise” his thoughts for the benefit of his children and those who will come after him because “ the baton belongs to you when my time is gone.”
The 200 poems are not arranged in any particular order, perhaps published in the sequence in which they were written.
It covers key periods Kenyans have experienced. From the 2007/2008 political crisis, to the worst drought in the horn of Africa in 60 years, in 2011 and the subsequent one in 2016, as well as the loss of the writer’s brother Cyprian in the poem Gone But Always Present at an undated period as well as the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.
Easy to understand, I’d recommend the poems to children of school-going age to improve their reading, comprehension, as well as composition style writing.
They will also be inspired to get the value of mundane things many take for granted. The poems are mostly brief and fit the page allocated. Intentional?
World Cup Comes to Africa; No Longer Refugees but Trustees; Committed to Rise Again, and The Guest Never Came are some of the titles of the poems. Some sound repetitive, like Rooting for our Nation and I am proud of our Nation, underscoring his patriotic bent but also revealing the need for a revise editor for conciseness.
What makes No Longer Stunted unique is that unlike most new books in this market, which tend to be autobiographies, his is a collection of poems.
The reader can grasp his deliberate attempt at shifting the style of writing to a rather uncomplicated arrangement for a younger audience, or that was the take home for the author of this article.
Ameru uses repetition as a stylistic device, as well as hyperbole in some cases. This project proves you can take up a hobby at any age, and thrive in it. You can also start small to write the book you keep shelving in your mind. Write a page a day, or whatever your target, over the long-term and see what you generate.
No Longer Stunted is a lesson for us all in making fresh pursuits over the course of our lives.