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The Interview: Enock Maregesi

14/01/2016

The Interview

My name is Enock Maregesi. I am the author of Kolonia Santita, which is a Swahili novel about narcoterrorism. I was born in Mwanza in November 25 1972, grew up the first of eight children in a Jita family in Musoma and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

My father Abiud Maregesi was a businessman before becoming a politician in 2004, as a national chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Parents Wing (Mwenyekiti wa Jumuiya ya Wazazi ya CCM Taifa) and a member of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Central Committee (CC) until 2007. CCM is the dominant ruling party in Tanzania and the longest reigning ruling party in Africa, according to Wikipedia. My mother AnnaGrace Joseph Bakuza died in 1986, when I was 14 years old. She died in Arusha, where she used to work, and was buried in Bukoba where she was born. My family’s ancestral village is Seka in Musoma Rural District in Mara Region around Lake Victoria – the largest lake in Africa and the second freshwater lake in the world.

I was raised by my grandparents Maregesi Musyangi Sabi and Martha Bwire Maregesi since I was 2 or 3 years old in both Musoma Rural and Musoma Urban Districts. They took me to school, kindergarten and primary, from 1980 to 1987 in Musoma Urban District. My grandparents taught me love and respect – the two values that I and will cherish to the end of my life. They are all passed now: my grandfather in 1985 and my grandmother in 2014.

I studied ADCS (Advanced Diploma in Computer Science) at the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) in Dar es Salaam for two and a half years, from 1999 to 2002, before relocating to London in the United Kingdom in 2004. In London I studied CCNA (Advanced Diploma in Networking) at LEAD Academy, Creative Writing at The Writers Bureau (in Manchester) and ABE (Association of Business Executives) at Brit College London – which is affiliated with the University of Wales – for a degree in Business Systems in 2011.

My first novel Kolonia Santita was published in 2012 and in 2015 it won the inaugural Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature, a prize founded by Professor Mukoma wa Ngugi – Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York – and Director of the Caine Prize for African Writing Dr Lizzy Attree of London in the United Kingdom, at the Ake Arts & Book Festival in Nigeria in 2014. The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has the express goal of recognizing excellent writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

Tazama hapa kwa Kiingereza

Tazama hapa kwa Kiswahili

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