Two In One by Mwangi Gicheru
Mwangi: Nothing should stand in the way of Equitel
Two In One
Published in , the book was set in East Africa in the post colonial Kenya. The themes in this book include love, wealth versus poverty among others. The book begins with a quote from the narrator Chuma, who we learn is a houseboy in the Kihuthu household. The house for all. The only house where a government minister and a pickpocket dine together, work, discuss matters on equal terms. The only place where equality is exercised regardless the social class.
I write this tribute, to render therefore to all their dues, in honour of the writer I did not meet despite having enjoyed reading his work. I first encountered Across the Bridge, a novel about a poor domestic servant falling in love with the daughter of his rich and powerful employer in secondary school. The book, running just short pages, was a no-put-downer. And I wondered why, despite its enormous popularity, Across the Bridge, published in , was not on the official Literature in English curriculum in Kenya. Later on, to pursue my love for good local fiction, reading for pleasure, I looked for other titles by the author who was simply known as M Gicheru and, for almost a token, purchased The Double-Cross and Two in One from used book dealers at the point where Ronald Ngala Street and Racecourse Road almost touch in down town Nairobi. I also bought a brand new copy of The Mixers from a bookshop at the corner of Ronald Ngala and Tom Mboya streets.
The Kenyan literary scene is the poorer following the death of Mwangi Gicheru, the man that brought you the novel Across the Bridge. According to family members His body was discovered on the morning of Sunday, March 4, after he failed to wake up. Workers reported the matter to the local police who gave the go-ahead for the house to be broken into. The body was taken to the Pandya Memorial Hospital Mortuary. Post mortem results determined the cause of death to be heart attack. Gicheru will be fondly remembered by hordes of book lovers who devoured his book Across the Bridge in the late 70s, 80s and 90s. Across the Bridge tells the story of an impossible love between a poor young man Chuma and Caroline the daughter of rich man Kahuthu.