By Ogova Ondego
Published February 25, 2013
When he got attracted to story-telling in his childhood, little did anyone realise that that the boy’s interest would later develop into a lifetime career. That child was David Gian Maillu of Kenya; he works today as a creative writer, novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, fine artist and theologian specialising in African Religion.
Maillu’s popular literature hit the market in the early 1970s with titles such as Unfit for Human Consumption, My Dear Bottle, and After 4.30. His reputation had grown to international acclaim by 1980.
Maillu has 40 creative titles for children in print today. They include well-selling Poor Child; Government Daughter; and Precious Blood. His essays include African Indigenous Political Ideology; Our Kind of Polygamy; and Black Adam and Eve.
Arguably one of the most published authors in Africa, David Gian Maillu writes in Kikamba, Kiswahili and English; he has 70 titles from seven publishers to his name. These, he says, is besides numerous short stories and academic journal articles.
The man who says he has more than 130 yet-to-be published manuscripts, says his longest published novel is Broken Drum; it runs 1120 pages.
Among Maillu’s many yet-to-be published manuscripts is a 12-volume monthly diary series titled Kadosa’s Diary. Each title of the title that Maillu considers to be his favourite writing is about 160 pages long.
Maillu, who says he now holds a doctoral degree in African Literature and Political Philosophy, is also a musician, guitarist, composer, painter and designer; he majors in black-and-white drawings. He also builds houses and gardens in his free time.
Born some 73 years ago in Ukambani on the eastern side of Nairobi, Maillu has participated in many international workshops and conferences in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.