Monday, 29 July 2013

I Will Try, 1965, Legson Kayira ****

"I Will Try" is a non-fiction autobiography of Legson Kayira. Who in the late fifties, after secondary school, suddenly decided to forward his education in the United States of America. He embarked on his journey by foot all the way from Malawi, neither with money nor documents. As far as he was concerned, success was his determination.
Legson was born in the forties into an impoverished rural primitive and savage background, in Nyasaland, today's Malawi. He lived in huts (if it was up to that), took care of cows, went hunting and slept in barns. When at last he was registered to a school, he walked long distances to attend classes.
"Yet, despite facing the constraints common to most children in Africa, Kayira went on to defy all odds ultimately turning himself into the epitome of resilience and courage".
Incidents on his way to America were rather interesting. The places he stayed and spent the night in, the people and animals he met, the food he ate and the jobs he took on were explicitly narrated on.

Eventually, he made his way to the USA where he was granted a scholarship by Skagit Valley College in Washington State, and later on went to Cambridge University in England. "I Will Try" was an inspiring and easy read with the moral message; with courage and determination nothing is impossible. Legson's life story is quite extraordinary. In fact, "The Adventures of Legson Kariya" would have perfectly fitted as a title.

Furthermore, I learnt a lot about the political state of Malawi. The fact that Dr. Hasting Banda (first president of Malawi), who studied abroad and was against colonialism, went into power and immediately turned into a tyrannical ruler completely baffles me. He was in office from 1966 to 1994. Legson, actually attended one of his campaign and was strongly rooting for him. Sadly, after many years of living and studying overseas he was considered a threat by Banda, who denied him entrance to Malawi. 

Legson Kariya is known today as a Malawian novelist, he lived in England and died in London in 2012. I would love to say a big thank you to RMG (Rivona Media Group) for sending me a copy for review. It goes without saying that this is a must read. I highly recommend.

This novel was first published in 1965. This edition is Published January 2013 by Rivonia Media Group. contains the original text, photographs, as well as a memoir by Legson’s widow, Julie Kayira, written after his sudden death in England in October 2012.


Young Legson Kariya

20 comments:

  1. This book is worth reading. And the maxim "with courage and determination nothing is impossible" should be on walls of many young African people. Good book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, I cannot agree more.

      Delete
  2. From Malawi to America on foot? Talk about determination and courage. African youths need a lot of those these days. Most of our youths easily give up when they face challenges. Nice one Kariya and God bless you Mary for a job well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes life can be hard and it's difficult to keep up. Just as the novel says, Kariya is the epitome of courage and resilence.

      Delete
  3. How, I was attracted by the very first line. In fact, I had wondered earlier what kind of name is Legson. And then when I read the first line it dawned on me. Thanks for sharing this. Yes, we need not to give up. We become timid in the face of challenges instead of struggling through it and making sure that we make it. This is highly inspirational. Thanks once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nana, actually, Legson is a name Kariya made up for himself when he was so longing for a name that sounds English. It was an inspirational read indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. What do you think it is about African leaders that turns them into power drunk tyrants? Some of them actually start out well, but that does not last very long. I have had this discussion with a lot of people, some believe its the sense of deprivation, others think that the continent only respects people who treat them a certain way. A much too simplistic view if you ask me. Great review as always

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, Dr. hasting Banda really surprise me; you know studied overseas led the country to independence, the name Malawi was his idea. he went into power and turned into something else. In his case, I will not say it was lack of eductation, cos he was very learned indeed.
      Well...You know power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." By Lord Acton. He also said "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"

      Delete
  5. wonderful review,Mary. A truly inspirational read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just heard about the book. I am really embarrassed but better late than never - as they say. Cannot wait to receive my copy and will be back with a comment. Good work up here!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jideofo,
      I look forward to reading your comments!

      Delete
  7. I read this book 33 years ago. I was inspired then and I am even more inspired to pursue my dreamZ

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Shirley,
    Thanks for stopping by, when I think about inspiration "I will try" popa to mind. It is a reread

    ReplyDelete
  9. I heard this inspiring story today and learned more from your helpful review. I am ordering the book today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Daniel,
      I am glad that my review was helpful and contributed to your ordering the book. I hope you share your thoughts with us afterwards. Happy reading.

      Delete
  10. i'm a Malawian journalist who interveiwed Mr Kayira a month before he passed on. I subsequently wrote a story about his inspirational story. ready it here:
    http://jack-mcbrams.blogspot.com/2012/10/remembering-legson-kayira.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll check it out. Thanks a bunch. Very inspiring.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...