Kenyan author hopes to break World record

Former soccer player Robert Mwangi is on the road to sign copies of his book, ‘Whisper In The Jungle’, at the Ofafa Jericho on Thursday.

Speaking to Word Is, the former KCB footballer said, “I am trying to break the world record for the biggest book signing ever held in Africa by an African author.”

“I am going to try and sign over 1,260 copies of my book.”

Spearheaded by StoryMoja publishers and Textbook Centre, Mwangi is going to set up a book store so that alumni, visitors, and parents can buy books and donate them to the store. 

He said he wants to make kids realise picking up a book can change their lives.

“Some of us grew up in very poor backgrounds. When my mum lost her job when I was 15 years old, we lived in a tiny room that didn’t even have a toilet in Makongeni,” Mwangi said.

“I want to tell those kids these stories so they can know I was one of them. So they can relate to someone who is like them and know that they can do something about changing their lives.”

Mwangi gives credit to Ofafa Jericho for molding his soccer talent.

“This is giving back to my school, the school that made me who I am. I was a soccer player and Musa Otieno was our captain, and we were number one in the country in soccer, and that’s where my soccer talent blossomed.”

He received a soccer scholarship to go to the US in 2002. “And it is only cause I was in the high school soccer team and getting to learn from kids in Makongeni.” 

He recalls when he was listening to Barack Obama in 2008, a speech that left him impressed.

“I started typing what he said and then I ended up typing other things. It was therapeutic. Every day I came home from work, I typed something. The days turned into a year and I looked and I had 600 pages. I poured my heart. I had not taken a single writing class anywhere at the time.”

But what is ‘Whisper In The Jungle’?

“My story is not just my story, it is the story of my generation. It is the story of a young boy who receives a scholarship to go to America but right before he goes to America, his girlfriend disappears into the forest,” he said.

“He forgets about his American dream and dashes into the forest to look for his girlfriend. There, he undergoes a transformation, an identity crisis.”

“There’s a point in our lives where love transcends fear, where love is stronger than anything else.”

Mwangi played for KCB.

“They gave me a job because they didn’t want me to play for another team. My dream was to play for Tusker FC. I went for trials for Tusker for three days, it was not as exciting as I had imagined.”

“On the fourth day, I was told I had been called to play for Harambee Stars. A few days later, my soccer scholarship to the US arrived. I went to town to celebrate the scholarship and I met the coach for Tusker FC and told him he would sign me.”

“When I look back, I knew people wanted me. All the hard work had paid off.”

In the US, he played for a college before he had surgery for a knee injury.

“Maybe I was meant to be an author.”

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