Here are top 11 most memorable Kenyan high school set books

Some Set books were so transformative that it influenced career paths of some students. (Eneza Education)
  • Kenya’s educational syllabus was packed with some of the most memorable set books that transformed and empowered many Kenyans.
  • Some Set books were so transformative that it influenced career paths of some students.
  • Here is just a few notable high school set books that will forever remained etched on Kenyan minds.

Good books have a way of influencing our life long after we have closed it and moved on to read several other books.

Kenya’s educational syllabus was packed with some of the most memorable set books that transformed and empowered many Kenyans to that point some even played a role in their future careers.

Some Set books were so transformative that it influenced career paths of some students.

Here is just a few notable high school set books that will forever remained etched on Kenyan minds.

1. Coming to Birth

Coming to Birth is a Novel by Kenyan author Majorie Oludhe Macgoye.

The book covered several themes touching on social and political issues from disillusionment, marital unfaithfulness to political betrayal in post-colonial Kenya.

The book was phased out in 2007.

2. Half a day and other stories

This is one of the most memorable set books ever, it is an anthology of short stories from Northeastern and Eastern Africa.

The themes are as wide ranging as the authors’ backgrounds but they share a common belief: a concern for justice.

The most memorable story which stood out for me was a letter to my sister.

It was phased out in 2013.

3. Kifo Kisimani

This is one of Kenya’s timeless Swahili plays written by Prof Kithaka wa Mberia.

Most students who read this set book went ahead to vie for political seats in colleges and universities having been inspired by the heroic deeds of Mwelusi.

It was phased out of Kenyan syllabus in 2012.

4. The River Between

The novel was authored by world renowned author Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who recently the 2019 Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize.

The book centers on the the fierce fight between tradition and modernity, a phenomenon which continues to play out to date.

It was phased out of Kenyan syllabus in 2012.

5. A man of the People

This is the book that turned many boys into men.

By the time they flipped the last page, they were fully aware about many issues bedeviling our African society from corruption, greed for power and even sex.

At one point the ever green political satire written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe in 1966 generated a hot debated due to explicit sexual content that the Catholic Church move to court to ban it.

It is narrated by Odili, a young teacher in an unnamed African country run by greedy and corrupt politicians.

The book was phased out of Kenyan education syllabus in 2005.

6. An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People is originally an 1882 Norwegian play titled En folkefiende written Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen which was translated into English.

In this age of peer pressure and crowd mentality, the play is still a refreshing breath of air on the importance of standing by what is right, after all the strongest man in this world is he who stands alone right!

It was phased out in 2013.

7.Merchant of Venice

There is no doubt that William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers to have ever lived and Kenyan students came face to face with his work through Merchant of Venice, a 16th century play written in the English of that time.

The Merchant of Venice was introduced as a secondary set book in 2003.

8. Shreds of Tenderness

This riveting novel written by John. Ruganda was one of the most dramatic set books Kenyan students read. Shreds of Tenderness is a heart-rending, masterfully crafted play which is replete with shocking revelations and reversals.

9. Encounters from Africa

This was a collection of stories from all over Africa and most of the stories revolved around social evils, such as governance, greed, witchcraft, human rights abuses etc. affecting Africa then.

Kenyans would forever remember stories like Tekayo by Grace Ogot, the bewitching of Damieno, by Barbara Kimenye – Uganda, the prisoner who wore glasses by Bessie Head – Botswana, Africa kills her sun by Ken Saro-Wiwa – Nigeria and a man must live by Ezekiel Mphahlele from South Africa to name but just a few.

It was phased out of the education syllabus in 2005.

10. Utegano

This is another well written Swahili novel that will get you hooked from page one to the last.

The book explores themes like leadership, forgiveness, love and has a traditional and modern twist. the good thing is it has an happy ending, who doesn’t love happy ending especially when it touches on love?

It was written by Said Ahmed Mohamed and was phased out of Kenyan syllabus in 2013.

11. Mayai waziri wa maradhi

This book is a collection of Swahili stories inspired by events along the Kenyan and Tanzania coast.

It was written by ‎K W Wamitila and was phased out of the Kenyan syllabus.

It is a collection of well narrated African stories and portrayed what many African societies go through from jealousy, pride, drug abuse to greed for power, something still relevant today.

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