Political voices in selected novels of Mwangi Ruheni
The advent of colonialism and eventual attainment of independence in the 1960s left indelible marks on the social, cultural, economic and political aspects of the colonized societies. Different genres of arts capture these aspects in varied ways. This project paper analyses political undertones in three novels by Mwangi Ruheni namely; What a Husband! The Mystery Smugglers and Future Leaders. A prolific writer in the popular literature genre, Ruheni has largely been deemed to be addressing issues central to pop literature such as, prostitution, alcoholism, crime and the like that accompany the decay that comes with urbanization. This paper focuses on political voices in Ruheni‟s fiction. It examines the artistic strategies employed by the author to voice political comments even as he primarily portrays social challenges of a society in transition. That the novels under the study of this project were written only a decade into independence, in addition to the fact that the author grew and schooled during the colonial regime calls for the paper to further examine transformational effects of characters and institutions during this significant period, politically. The study demonstrates that amid hedonism aptly exemplified by liberal sexuality and alcoholism, the three novels incorporates subtexts that reflect political reality of the time in addition to revealing the political perspective of the pop artist whose works are the focus of this research.