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About Me

I am a retired graphic designer and author with work appearing in various print venues. I also write for online publications, periodicals, feature articles and the like. I live in Nairobi and spend weekends in Kisumu and Homa Bay.

I was born in Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria in Kenya. I grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Kisumu. I grew up admiring books. My family lived near Kisumu Area Library and my early life was about books. I spent many hours in the Library and in bookstores in Kisumu, and I would spend evenings and weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. I was given the nickname "Master Storyteller" by my friends in 1980 because I loved to retell the stories I had read. I made up things and told lies. Really good ones — some of which my boyhood friends still believe. This was the era when television and movies were still a novelty and beyond the reach of many. The most convenient form of entertainment was reading novels.

I was a huge bookworm all the way up to high school. The library was my safe place and my friends were all avid readers as well. I studied fine art at the Notre Dame Catholic Art Centre in Kisumu under renowned watercolorist, Janet Mullen and then proceeded to Kenya Polytechnic University to study graphic design and communication. Although I had always made up stories in my head, I did not write as a young boy other than essays for school. In high school, in Kisumu, it was a longheld belief that I will be a writer some day. My friends and colleagues always chided me about it, asking when "my book" was going to be published. My family, too, waited. I started seriously writing in college in Nairobi, but even that wasn't serious writing; I was involved heavily in theatrical activities and produced work that was performed, a little here and an occassional one-act play there... things I wasn't serious about and which did not find their way into print. When I graduated and started working I found myself with more free time and have started reading again. I wrote a lot during this time, published some works.

Not much has changed since then, except now some of the interesting books I pick off the shelves are written by myself! Little wonder today I am a full time writer and author.

The feeling of escaping into a completely different world and losing yourself for hours in the pages of books has much remained. I love books. I love turning pages. I loved immersing myself in stories, losing myself in twists and turns of plots. My world is the Book World. I read on my Samsung phone and my iPad in my car and on the bus. I frequent bookstores, I download tons of books, I spend many hours reading. Writing fiction can help you incorporate knowledge from a wide variety of sources and use it in your own dream land.

 

Biography

This is a highlights resume. Download the detailed curriculum vitae here.To view my full credentials, please visit my LinkedIn page.

 

Author
@www.okangaooko.com
August 1992 – Present (24 years) Nairobi, Kenya
Author, novelist, short story, ghostwriter, freelance writer

  Lead consultant
Lake Victoria Writers' Group, Kisumu, Kenya
February 2012 – December 2014

English, writing, and graphicl arts instructor • Creative Writing Consultation and Workshopping • Coached new writers • Consulted with authors and publishers on the development of book-length manuscripts • Published short, creative prose and poetry in numerous magazines and online venues.

 

Freelance writer, Owner, President
Oba Kunta Octopus, Nairobi
October 2000 – Present (18 years 10 months)
• Assists fellow writers, authors, students, academics and storytellers to polish their work to its brightest shine.
• Offer writing, editing, proofreading, eBook conversion & distribution, contractual publishing services to writers, publishers, students and companies 
• Develop, edit and maintain a corporate Intranet to enhance software support reference and efficiency.
• Create coursework for online and classroom instruction in English, writing and digital imaging.
• Manage all aspects of digital book publication, including design, pre-press preparation, and quality control.
• Acts as a print broker and project manager for publishers, self-publishers, and literary magazines.
www.obakunta.co.ke

  English Tutor
Freelance
January 2012 – September 2015, Nairobi, Kenya
Tutors high school students and foreigners from Francophone countries three times a week.
 

Graphic designer in various employment capacities
August 1993 – Present (24 years) Nairobi, Kenya

 

Publications

Currently Working on You Can't Polish This Turd, a political novel.
February 2018 When You Sing To the Fishes, novel
February 2018 Kisumu, novel
January 2017 Happy 9th Birthday, horror novella
June 2017 Tandawuoya, novel
January 2016 Business Woman's Fault, seven short stories
June 2013 Kiss Ya Bangongi, short story
July 2011 Sheer Madness Here In Nairobi, short story
July 2009 First and Second Rhythm Guitars in an Old Benga Song, short novella
October 2006 Why No One Knows Where Death Lives Papyrus Artists Organisation, kids short story, audio podcast
2005 Infinity Eulogy for my friend Martin Owino, Hawi Magazine Volume I, Lake Victoria Writers' Group, poem
August 2004 Moni Afinda Published in Eve Magazine, short story
June 2004 Innocents Longings, Dangerous Fulfilement First published in www.voicenet.org, poem
May 2002 The Proposal Published in Black Voices Online, short story
2001 Adventurer Published in Lady magazine, short story
1998 Pollution Control of Small –Scale Metal Industries In Nairobi, Final Report of Small –scale Metal Industries Environmental Pollution In Kenya , research study for International Labour Organisation (ILO)
May 1997 Scrap Metal Recycling, A product development study of Kamukunji Jua Kali Sector Published by the Undugu Society of Kenya research paper
November 1996 Running Wild Published in Flash, newsletter of the Undugu Society, issue no 98, short story
May 1995 Kichorochoro Published in Flash, newsletter of the Undugu Society, issue no 55, short story
September 1993 Now The Sun Doesn’t Shine Kenya Polytechnic Drama Club, an AIDS allegory with ritual drama, play in three acts