Kintu PDF/EPUB ß Paperback

Kintu [PDF / EPUB] Kintu Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award winning debutIn 1750 Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations In this ambitiou Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award winning debutIn Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations In this ambitious tale of a clan and of a nation Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.


10 thoughts on “Kintu

  1. says:

    Kintu opens with unbridled authority and mercilessness In just a few pages a man has been hunted down by an angry mob in Uganda He is then brained with a concrete slab; his woman is left in widowhood and has the hard task of dealing with her man's debt Blood flows easily and uickly when your family's steps are haunted by a curse that spans generationsI found this such an effective piece of storytelling the idea that the history of our ancestors never full leaves us and has the potential to one day assert itself in our present age Two hundred and fifty years prior to the incident with the concrete slab a freak accident lead to a fa`ther murdering his own son; it was an accident he never forgave himself for It set off a chain of events that would shape his life thereafter and ultimately see him torn from the remainder of his family He is cursed and leaves his village in solitude Once a respectable man Kintu Kidda is ruined His actions have ramifications for all his descendants for those that been scattered across the globe over the years Breaking Kintu's curse will finally bring them all together in the conclusion of this hugely dramatic storyIn his novel Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe demonstrated that Africa does not possess a silent culture African language is formal developed and intelligent Here Makumbi plays around with language and storytelling; she writes in English as Achebe once did but she also inserts Ugandan words into her prose Such a narrative techniue makes the story distinctively her own and it's completely unafraid to shout out its voice to the rest of the world like Achebe's writing Words are indeed powerful tools and they have been used here to full effectThe novel is divided into six separate yet intricately interconnected books I found this very intriguing hearing about the curse from different perspectives and seeing how it affected people differently across history Traditional African culture relied on an oral accounting of history and as such truth can often become distorted and easily turned into myth Each generation adds a little bit or takes a little bit away from the original facts By the end it has become something else though it is still pervaded by the original ideas as shown here with the original saga of Kintu KiddaDespite the time that has elapsed the original truth of the events in the story can never be changed they did happen once and they will always exist in the shadows of life In doing so Makumbi demonstrates how the colonial history of Africa will never fully stop asserting itself in the present It will never go away and it's important that it doesn't so humanity can learn from its mistakes and understand exactly what it once did to a people that were essentially their neighbours from across the sea This novel is certainly a worthy study for those interested in postcolonial theory and global literatureKintu is a difficult novel to read and as such it reuires a reader who is willing to be patient and put time into appreciating it Keeping track of all the characters is also difficult I recommend taking brief notes whist reading and perhaps even researching some of the terminology As such I would only recommend this to readers who enjoy complex modern novels such as NW by Zadie Smith


  2. says:

    This is Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's debut novel Kintu is a Ugandan novel that tells the story of Kintu's lineage and the curse that inflicts them The novel is like a story inside a story inside of another story We learn about the generations while becoming acuainted with Ugandan culture Each character is crafted realistically and the points of magical realism are introduced at just the right moments in the story Makumbi doesn't forget to make us laugh despite the seriousness throughout the story If anything you will be totally engrossed in the story from its tragic opening Don't get put off by the large cast of characters because you'll get used to them and their names There's a family tree and a list of characters for each book There are 5 books in the novel I highly recommend this book because the level of realism culture humor and seriousness is done to perfection You won't forget Kintu and you'll probably want to re read it very soon


  3. says:

    Kintu is a complex yet compelling readKintu takes place in the Buganda kingdom today's Uganda Kintu Kidda the leader Ppookino of the Buddu Province travels with a group of men to swear loyalty to the new king kabaka of the entire Buganda kingdom in 1750 He is a wise governor and has his own share of worries at home because of his multiple wives He accidentally kills his adopted son Kalema in this journey and this affect his family and also sparks a curse that befall his descendants The book jumps forward in time and spans across the centuries to present day and is filled with back storiesWhat to expect? Loved the contrast in living habits social structure religious beliefs and politics over the generations written beautifully Twins premature deaths killings dreams add a surreal twist to the story The infiltration of Christianity into the beliefs of the tribal men My first book set in Uganda so it was fascinating to read about a family saga that spans generations Culturally very rich The book is not 'westernized' for the audience; so I could really feel the authenticity of the storytelling even though being non African I struggled with the names There is no mention of the colonialism but we see the changes that it has brought forth shows how actions of our ancestors haunt their descendants; whether this is true or a superstition is upto the reader Another interesting aspect was the focus on how men are affected adversely in a patricarchal society Kintu's period has the custom of taking multiple wives and having children by them but the pressure on men to sexually gratify all their wives is immense tradition vs modern values; doesn't praise either of them This gives the feel of an impartial narration to the storyWhat didn't work I was invested in the book But after the middle section my interest lessened and I kept postponing the read It seemed of personal stories of the family members in whom I did not feel very invested in and less of the historical background This made me feel a little bored The story picks up again later Keeping track of the family branches was something I struggled with throughout the novel since I am not familiar with African names This isn't a fault of the novel of course but my inexperience with the books and culture of the region Most characters have than one name and there are also characters whose names constantly change; so I felt a little lost If you are not familiar with the names I'd recommend keeping notes and drawing your own branches as you read so as to be on the right track There is a family tree at the beginning of the novel but you are better off making your own oneRead it when you have the time to give your full attention to the novel Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


  4. says:

    Ohhhhhhhh my friends get ready for this one It’s a Commonwealth Prize winning story about the Kintu Kidda’s clan in Uganda and the centuries long history of the family’s “cursed bloodline” starting in 1750 Makumbi breaks the book up into six parts and details the lives of Kintu’s descendants and what it means to live in the shadow of the curse a they try to carve out their own futures What a fantastic readBacklist bump I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani Another amazing Commonwealth Prize winnerTune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books All The Books


  5. says:

    I read this book in preparation for a book group discussion at Five Leaves later this month and it is the first Ugandan book I have read On the whole I found it uite enjoyable though I must admit I struggled a little with its central premiseThe book is divided into long chapters The first starts in 1750 and tells the story of Kintu the prince in charge of Buddu a large province in the south of Buganda this appears to contradict Wikipedia's article on Buddu which says it was the last province captured by Buganda and that this happened late in the 18th century but since the book is largely about oral history and the way that affects modern Africa we'll leave that debate to better informed historians Two of Kintu's wives are twins his favourite Nnakato and her sister Babirye who bore him four sets of twins before Nnakato's only son and Kintu's heir was born The heir wants his own twin and they adopt a Tutsi boy who dies after Kintu punishes him while they are travelling to the Bugandan capital a long arduous and hazardous walk Kintu's treatment of this boy makes him the subject of a curse of ill luck for him and his descendants the heir dies on his wedding day Nnakato hangs herself and Kintu goes mad and disappears without trace All but the last remaining chapters follow descendants of Kintu in modern Uganda where they cover a wide spectrum of society They are brought together at the end of the book for a gathering at the site of Kintu's village where they attempt to exorcise the curseThe book explores many aspects of African history notably the notorious colonial boundaries that disregarded the interests of the inhabitants and the long shadows cast by both Idi Amin's regime and his predecessor and successor Milton Obote and recently the effect of AIDS Despite the many deaths and often bloodthirsty nature of the story this is never a difficult read though to a European eye the many similar names can be a little confusing I am looking forward to the discussion


  6. says:

    1750 Buddu Province BugandaKintu is the name of a clan the original clan elder Kintu Kidda fell in love with Nnakato an identical twin the younger and her family refuse to allow him to marry her unless he married her sister Babirye first He refused They resisted He relentedKintu's mind lingered on the primal conflict that led to a soul splitting into twins No matter how he looked at it life was tragic If the soul is at conflict even at this remotest level of existence what chance do communities have? This made the Ganda custom of marrying female identical twins to the same man preposterous It goes against their very nature Kintu thought Twins split because they cannot be one why keep them as such in life? Besides identical men did not marry the same womanBabirye gave him four sets of twins while Nnakato was unable to conceive When the twins raised as if they belonged to Nnakto were adults Nnakato finally gave birth to a son Baale They adopted a baby boy Kalema from Ntwire a widower who was passing through their lands who decided to stay in gratitude to Kintu and Nnakto for raising his son in their familyWhen tragedy occurs Kintu tries to conceal it Ntwire suspects something and places a curse on Kintu and his family and future descendantsThe novel is structured into Book One to Book Six the first five books focus on different strands of the Kintu clan the first book being the original story of Kintu Kidda and his family in the 1750's the latter stories set in modern times; colonial interlopers have left their imprint however this is not their story nor a story of their influence except to note the impact on the kingdom After independence Uganda a European artefact was still forming as a country rather than a kingdom in the minds of ordinary Gandas They were lulled by the fact that Kabuku Mutees II was made president of the new Uganda Nonetheless most of them felt that 'Uganda' should remain a kingdom for the Ganda under their kubuka so that things would go back to the way they were before Europeans came Uganda was a patchwork of fifty or so tribes The Ganda did not want it The union of tribes brought no apparent advantage to them apart from a deluge of immigrants from wherever coming to Kampala to take their land Meanwhile the other fifty or so tribes looked on flabbergasted as the British drew borders and told them that they were now Ugandans Their histories cultures and identities were overwritten by the mispronounced name of an insufferably haughty tribe propped above them But to the Ganda the reality of Uganda as opposed to Buganda only sank in when after independence Obote overran the kabaka's lubiri with tanks exiling Muteesa and banning all kingdoms The desecration of their kingdom by foreigners paralysed the Ganda for decadesEach beginning of the six partsbooks however narrates a little of the story of a man named Kamu Kintu who had been removed from his home and was on his way for uestioning by the local counsellors when targeted by a mob of angry villagers and killed We don't find out who he is or how he is connected to the families we encounter until Book Six where the threads that tie the clan together reconnectThroughout each family and over the years certain aspects replicate throughout the families the presence of twins premature death as if the curse that was muttered so long ago continues to reverberate through each generation Some of them are aware of the curse they remember the story told by their grandmothers others haven't been told the truth of their origins in the hope that ignorance might absolve themHer grandmother's story had intruded on her again All day at work the story like an incessant song had kept coming and going Now that she was on her way home Suubi gave in and her grandmother's voice flooded her mindSome are haunted by ghosts of the past thinking themselves not of sound mind particularly when aspects of their childhood have been hidden from them some have prophetic dreams some have had university educations in foreign lands and try to sever their connections to the old ways though continue to be haunted by omens and symbols making it difficult to ignore what they feel within themselves that their mind wishes to reject Some turn to God and the Awakened looking for salvation in newly acuired religionsIt's brilliant We traverse through the lives of these families witness their growth development sadness's and joys weaving threads of their connections together that will eventually intersect and come to be understood and embraced by all as the clan is brought together to try and resolve the burden of the long held curse that may have cast its long shadow over this clan for so many generationsOne of the things that’s particularly uniue about the novel is the contrast of the historical era 1750’s with the modern era the historical part shows the uniue way of life before the arrival of Europeans in all its richness and detail how they live the power structures the preparation for the long journey to acknowledge a new leader the protocols they must adhere to the landscapes they traverse An article in The Guardian notes twin historical omissions and concludes that the novel is the better for itMakumbi mostly avoids describing both the colonial period which so often seems the obligation of the historical African novel and Idi Amin’s reign which seems the obligation of the Ugandan novel Kintu is better for not retreading this worn groundIt reminded me of the world recreated by the Guadeloupean French African writer Maryse Condé in her epic historical novel Segu another African masterpiece set in the 1700’s in the kingdom of SeguI hope the success of Kintu encourages other young writer’s from within the vast storytelling traditions of the many African countries to continue to tell their stories and that international publishers continue to make them available to the wider reading public who are indeed interested in these lives cultures histories and belief systems of old that continue to resonate in the modern day despite political policies and power regimes that seem to want to change themHighly Recommended


  7. says:

    Magnificent Epic Flawless I do not drop those adjectives lightly They have been earned in this masterpiece novel that spans several generations of the Kintu clan from the origins of the curse laid upon the clan to the present day descendants And on this generational journey Makumbi brings to life the culture of UgandaFirst I have to say thanks to a fellow Goodreads reader whose forays into contemporary African literature have always left me inspired to explore than just the classics from that continent Her brilliant review of Kintu is way convincing than mine is Thank you Claire for reviewing this book back in 2018 and in so doing enticing me to read it This is what GR is all about The novel is Magnificent because it made me care for each of the characters in the first five parts Their stories their understanding and interpretations of their own history and clan politics their stark differences and similarities and the gorgeous settings that depict the different periods and surroundings The novel shed light on the Ugandan clan based system that I knew nothing of and it juxtaposed oh so very well the present post colonial with the pre colonial showing how deep culture can be and despite all modernity and resistance to tradition who we really are is always traced back to our ancestors And whether we know it or not whether we like it or not their legacy lives in usThe novel is Epic because it is only around 440 pages depending on the edition you get but it feels like 1000 pages – and I mean this in the most positive sense The attention to detail to history to anthropology to tradition they all shine through each of the character’s stories As a reader I was totally immersed in the setting and journey of the different members of the clan I enjoyed it so much that I never cared a great deal about the final sixth part where most of the clan members come together to discover the curse of their past I have never been so endowed with awe at a writer making me care about each present moment rather than the overall outcome It was why I took breaks from the book to really savor it and let it all sink inThe novel is Flawless Yes I rarely ever say this about contemporary fiction But damn this lady can write Beautiful clear simple sentences that resonated directly with me and conveyed concisely the emotion they needed to convey Stripped from flowery prose metaphors banter excess we are left with sentences that matter This might also be the reason why it is epic yet only 440 pages Thank you Makumbi The novel is also technically brilliant I mean to pull off the intertwining timelines of the different generations and of the different clan members and referring from one to the other in text so flawlessly is an amazing feat of writing and precision Makumbi has complete control of her story the timeline and her characters Truly a flawless novelThe woman considered herself Kamu’s wife because she had moved in with him two years earlier and he had not once thrown her out Every night after work he came home to her brought shopping ate her cooking He was always ravenous When she visited her parents Kamu gave her money so she did not go empty handed That was than many certified wives got Besides she had not heard rumors of another woman Maybe Kamu banged some girl once in a while but at least he did not flaunt it in her face The only glitch in her uest to become Kamu’s full wife was that he still wore a condom with her With his seed locked away she had not grown roots deep enough to secure her against future storms A child was far secure than waddling down the aisle with a wedding ring and piece of paper Nonetheless she would bide her time condoms have been known to rip Besides sex with a condom is like sucking sweet in its wrapper; Kamu would one day give it upThe best contemporary African novel I have read in a while A highly recommended read


  8. says:

    The novel “Kintu” by debut novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has been freuently compared to Yaa Gyasi’s hugely popular “Homegoing” because of its structure as an African family epic However “Homegoing” begins in the Gold Coast of West Africa now Ghana and “Kintu” takes place in the Buganda kingdom today known as the Republic of Uganda Makumbi’s ambitious tale begins in 1750 when Kintu Kidda the leader Ppookino of the Buddu Province travels with a group of men to swear loyalty to the new king kabaka of the entire Buganda kingdom Kintu demonstrates what a savvy politician he is making alliances and also balancing his time between his many wives that he’s taken for political reasons A tragedy occurs concerning Kintu’s adopted son Kalema and this sets in motion a series of calamities surrounding his favoured wife Nnakato and his heir Baale It also sparks a legendary curse upon his family which is still felt amidst his descendants who we meet when the book leaps forward in time to the recent past As the novel relates the backstories and present conflicts of several of these descendants we gradually understand why the clan attempts to reform and finally put this curse to rest This deeply compelling and fascinating story describes the way oral history and local mythology continues to play a part in the daily lives and complicated political attitudes of people in Uganda todayRead my full review of Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi on LonesomeReader


  9. says:

    Deemed The greatest Ugandan Novel I can definitely see why it is so highly praised immediately after I opened the introduction my senses were alive I was pulled in and engulfed in the multilayered family saga that starts from 1750 following the life of Kintu Kidda and his generation up to modern day Uganda Divided into Six sections we see how a curse unleashed on Kintu's family plagues the coming generationMakumbi brings something fresh to the Family Saga genre in that she doesn't rely on The Colonialist perspective Africa existed before it was invaded as expected in most historical fiction set in Africa she gets down and dirty unapologetically portrays the harsh realities of being Ugandan in the past as well as in the present She doesn't dilute the narrative to make foreign readers comfortable she tells is as it is and I was impressed The stark contrast between Religion African Tradition played a key part in the characters lives and how most mental illness is portrayed as curses in the traditional sense was absolutely fascinatingThe overall feeling of the story is a celebration of African culture the importance of communities and the value of coming together to overcome the tribulations that life has to offer I highly recommend you check this one out if you are looking for a book set in Uganda and doesn't dwell heavily on the usual colonialism narrative This was a refreshing perspective and my first Ugandan book I enjoyed some parts and the heaviness of the themes and deep exploration of the Ganda culture Will definitely report back with a detailed review but I highly recommend it


  10. says:

    I absolutely agree with the other reviewers saying this should be compulsory reading for humans At minimum freshman year read for university students or enter the cannon of literature greats for any intro courseMakumbi is a brilliant writer the prose is gorgeous but it isn't flashy and I love her for that It is in that way deeply inviting easy to read but still uite entrancing Her short story Let's Tell This Story Properly evidences the same styleI read this book easily even as I was drawn into things that were new to me even tho I live in Uganda It opened up a million conversations with friends here and abroad I cannot recommend it highly enoughWhy four stars instead of five I am not sure if I wasn't ready to be done reading OR if I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the ending but because I think it was the latter I knocked off a star To be sure it felt realistic ish even where supernatural given the stories to that point But did I feel it wrapped up too neatly? Maybe And yet somehow though neatly not the wrapping up I wanted? Like though neat also not complete? Possibly See this could be me just being unreasonable and wanting my way typical mzungu amiright? because I am not even sure what it is I wanted I do know this for a book to disappoint me in the ending I had to be so engaged and wrapped up and in the story that it MATTERED to me That is a damn good bookI'm meeting with my book club to discuss soon and I am hoping to be swayed on the ending and if I am I will come back and add another starBut I cannot cannot cannot say strongly enough READ THIS BOOK


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