An extraordinary account of how a laborer's son rose to challenge the power of despots, I Refuse to Die is both the autobiography of one gifted man who rose above the horrors of colonization, and an uncensored history of modern Kenya. The book is infused with the freedom songs of the Kenyan people, as well as dream prophecy and folk tales that are part of Kenya's rich storytelling tradition. Tracing the roots of the Mau Mau rebellion, wa Wamwere follows the evolution and degeneration of Jomo Kenyatta and the rise of Daniel arap Moi.
In 1979, wa Wamwere won a seat in the parliament, where he represented the economically depressed Nakuru district for three years. An outspoken activist and journalist, wa Wamwere was framed and detained on three separate instances, spending thirteen years in prison, where he was tortured but not broken. His mother and others led a hunger strike to free him and fellow political prisoners. Their efforts brought about a show trial at which Koigi was sentenced to four more years in prison and "six strokes of the cane," and escaped Kenya—and probably execution—only through the exertions of human rights groups and the government of Norway.
About the Author
Wa Wamwere is a political activist, statesman, and Journalist. First elected to Parliament in 1979, his term was cut short when dictator Daniel arap Moi threw him in prison in 1982. Wa Wamwere won office for a second time on a social democrat platform, victoriously calling for an end to the Moi years of corruption and oppression.
Kerry Kennedy Cuomo established the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1987. She serves on various boards and advisory committees and is Chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council. She is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia Bars.
Nan Richardson is an editor, writer, and curator. Co-author of Pandemic: Facing AIDS (2003), Havana (2002), Louise Dahl-Wolfe (2000), The White-T (1996), Drag Diaries (1995) and contributor to periodicals including The LA Times Magazine, The Boston Review of Books, Stern, Granta, Interview, Art News, Artforum, Art in America. Former editor of Aperture magazine.