In December 1963, Kenya claimed her independence from the colonial power of Great Britain. For the first time the Kenyan flag rose high. The National Anthem told of our hopes for our country. What has followed since, is a mix of false starts, developmental progress, economic empowerment, and attempted coups. During which, we have come to the brink of civil war, repeatedly.
Through the country’s political ups and downs, triumphs and the chaos, stands my family. A Kenyan family caught, sometimes as innocent bystanders, and often as instigators of the changing political tides of our country.
We are a family of polygamists, missionaries, alcoholics, single mothers, Mau Mau freedom fighters, colonial informants, politicians, school drop outs, doctors, and myself, a filmmaker. We are all held together by our Matriarch, my grandmother Wanjiru Kariuki.
This is a celebration of the character of our country, my family and our Matriarch. My grandmother is the creative force that has nurtured and marked us, as Kenya has. Kenya is polarized, sometimes in violent ways, sometimes it creates a surreal existence. My grandmother has lived through most of a century of Kenya’s history. My family has been both a creator and a victim of this history.
We are just a ‘normal family,’ in a country celebrating independence from colonial Britain for 50 years. Please take a chair and join us, as we explore Kenya’s history as told through the personal accounts of my large, boisterous family. Welcome to My Normal Kenyan Family.