It's Our Turn to Eat: Book summary and reviews of It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

It's Our Turn to Eat

The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower

By Michela Wrong

It's Our Turn to Eat
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2009,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

In January 2003, Kenya—seen as the most stable country in Africa—was hailed as a model of democracy after the peaceful election of its new president, Mwai Kibaki. By appointing respected longtime reformer John Githongo as anticorruption czar, the new Kikuyu government signaled its determination to end the corrupt practices that had tainted the previous regime. Yet only two years later, Githongo himself was on the run, having discovered that the new administration was ruthlessly pillaging public funds.

"Under former President Moi, his Kalenjin tribesmen ate. Now it's our turn to eat," politicians and civil servants close to the president told Githongo. As a member of the government and the president's own Kikuyu tribe, Githongo was expected to cooperate. But he refused to be bound by ethnic loyalty. Githongo had secretly compiled evidence of official malfeasance and, at great personal risk, made the painful choice to go public. The result was Kenya's version of Watergate.

Michela Wrong's account of how a pillar of the establishment turned whistle-blower, becoming simultaneously one of the most hated and admired men in Kenya, grips like a political thriller. At the same time, by exploring the factors that continue to blight Africa—ethnic favoritism, government corruption, and the smug complacency of Western donor nations—It's Our Turn to Eat probes the very roots of the continent's predicament. It is a story that no one concerned with our global future can afford to miss.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Githongo's saga highlights this pan-African problem and addresses possibilities for change." - Publishers Weekly

"Written with the pace of a thriller and a depth of analysis of a nation and a man, this is a compelling look at a nation struggling to overcome its past." - Booklist

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Author Information

Michela Wrong Author Biography

Half-Italian, half-British, Michela Wrong was born in 1961. She grew up in London and took a degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge and a diploma in journalism at Cardiff.

She joined Reuters news agency in the early 1980s and was posted as a foreign correspondent to Italy, France and Ivory Coast. She became a freelance journalist in 1994, when she moved to then-Zaire and found herself covering both the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda and the final days of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for the BBC and Reuters. She later moved to Kenya, where she spent four years covering east, west and central Africa for the Financial Times newspaper.

Michela Wrong's non-fiction books on contemporary Africa aim to be accessible to both members of the general public and ...

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