Mervyn Maciel is the author of Bwana Karani.
Following so soon after his original book Just Matata, Braz Menezes is to be commended for not keeping us waiting for the second in this trilogy. More Matata, now available through Amazon and other outlets is equally interesting and entertaining.
While politics was not the dominant feature of Just Matata, in his latest book, Menezes recounts the events, some quite bloody, which saw Kenyans finally shake off the yoke of Colonialism and usher in a new era in an independent Kenya. The Mau Mau rebellion (originally confined to the Kikuyu tribe), the State of Emergency, the Kenyatta trial and its aftermath, are all given extensive coverage in the various chapters. This should provide a valuable insight about the situation in Kenya and how the Goans and other communities coped, especially to those who have never lived in Kenya.
For me, a former civil servant of colonial and independent Kenya, some of the chapters revived memories of old friends like Pio and Rosario Gama Pinto, Olaf Ribeiro, L. D’Cruz and many others who feature prominently in the pages of this book.
Lando and his friends relied heavily on the BBC World Service for news, but there was also the other “Goan Grapevine Service” often provided by visiting Goan civil servants from up-country who, throwing caution to wind and forgetting they were all bound by the Official Secrets Act, freely dispensed with the latest news on the security situation during the Emergency. This no doubt from the “inside information” they had as trusted civil servants.
If like me, you have enjoyed Just Matata, you will find it hard to put down More Matata.