Businesswoman’s Fault is a dense collection of seven new stories that are deeply thoughtful, and endlessly entertaining flights of imagination. These stories deal with a diversity of issues and show emerging challenges facing Africans today especially in their struggle to survive.
The first four stories feature strong woman-led characters and present the pros and cons in the advertising industry. Set against the restless background of Nairobi’s corporate world, they capture the shifting boundaries of professional women’s struggles in a male-dominated world in the post-Moi decades with narrative drawn from the cases of modern businesses competing for advertising revenues. In Businesswoman’s Fault a designer-turned-marketer must save her company from the schemes of a shrewd competitor. She is a ruthless and strong-willed never-say-die woman and she must be nasty to win. In Moni Afinda, a middle-aged designer manager carries the memories of her father’s failures into her business. She must win a contract at all costs and succeed because she cannot repeat her father’s mistakes. In Kichorochoro, a tumult of personal tragedies push a young social worker into the frontier of doom without a back-up plan. She throws herself into her work of reshaping the lives of ragamuffin homeless boys in a dangerous Nairobi slum. The haunting cinema-esque Happy 9th Birthday is about a nine-year-old girl who is sexually abused by her father and its horrific aftermath. She throws the spanner into the works and into a nightmare of suspense and stark terror. The two last stories are about elderly musicians in a changing world. Kiss Ya Bangongi demonstrates that chasing greatness spurs doubt, self-hatred, failure, and pain especially when the conditions for greatness are deemed by the sort of egotistical man the protagonist is. In First and Second Rhythm Guitars In an Old Benga Song, an old benga guitarist must drop his personal principles and give benga music a facelift in order to save it from extinction. The two stories are linked inextricably to innovation in the guitar music, to chord changes, and voiced heartaches.