I am author Joseph R Alila, author of the Poetry soft cover RATENG AND BRIDE (A POEM). My past works include such novels as WHISPER TO MY ACHING HEART and SUNSET ON POLYGAMY.
In RATENG AND BRIDE I have revisited political humor and satire, and used imagery in challenging the reader, through the hero (Rateng') to abandon a lifelong ambition of reigning in a killer, illusive Bride, because attempts to redeem our pride and personal honor often blind us of our more important contributions to society. In the long poem RATENG' AND BRIDE, in which certain tragic political events in Kenya's short post-independence political history are recalled and mourned over, I remind my audience through the hero RATENG' of the corrupting, material allure and deadly charms of unregulated power (here, Rateng's illusive Bride—call her Power or The Presidency). The message here is that power is dirty, is often over-glorified, and like a genie, its gains to the holder are brief and blissful. The reader is reminded that Power otherwise brings personal anguish and sacrifice, and has the universal tendency to corrupt those with it and their cronies. Through Rateng' the reader is warned that like a gem, unregulated Power (the Presidency) corrupts everybody it touches, and its corrupting effects linger like the nauseating smell of a scared skunk. Employing the rich Luo Oral tradition, and generous with its literary vehicles such as song, self-praise, satire, imagery and proverbs, and never shy to go Luo vernacular with proverbs specifically, I have tried to uplift the role of poetry and song in Kenya's post-independence political discourse. I have tried to walk delicately with the reader into, and out of, a more recent, and more deadly, political match between two powerful suitors (Rateng' and Milo) over one Bride, with one biased Referee in the ring, and their adversarial supporters fighting ringside.