Jaspher Rori’s A Beacon of Hope starts its story from a village in Manga that had shunned education and stuck to its traditions and customs amidst the changing times. It is a village caught up in a disadvantaged position compared to their neighbours who had earlier embraced education. Education is belatedly seen as a means of escape from their misgivings: the breast milk they had all along denied their children and a breath that will give life to it.
The book follows the lives of three people in Gusii society and the different paths taken, the encounters faced and their responses to fluid circumstances of a society in transition. Considered “beacons of hope” the three characters’ lives encounter circumstances, interwoven intersections of social change brought about by colonialism, religion and “modern” education. Clearly no gains happen without cost: colonialism, new religion and associated education came at a cost for the people of Africa: loss of their culture. The stories of the characters offer askance whether modern education was worth it at all!
Let Jaspher take you through the journey in this tale that interweaves themes of love, despair, drugs, law and order as encountered by the key characters: Musa, Judy and Stella.
What others say
“The story in Jaspher’s A Beacon of Hope replicates what ails societies today. Aside from the excellent, entertaining storytelling, Jaspher conveys messages that society needs to critically examine itself to root out the vices and stride out.” – Dr Vicky O Mobegi, Nyamira, Kenya
“Jaspher brings out challenges (elite control, nepotism, negative ethnicity and retrogressive politics) of Kenyan society candidly leaving society to question itself: Where have we come from? Where are we now? Where shall we be in future?” – Ruth Sarange Nyachoti, Health Professional, Kenya
“In a time where the pressure for a university education and the reality of market saturation are at their peak, Jaspher Rori’s A Beacon of Hope depicts an interesting tale of the pull between culture and the societal pressures for change in Kenya. Each decision made by Musa, Judy and Stella is a decision that not only affects their lives, but the lives of the members of their community. A Beacon of Hope brings the reader to a place where anything and everything will happen to ensure survival in the ever-changing world of Nairobi. As beacons of hope for their communities, Musa, Judy and Stella must battle between letting their community down because of challenges in the market, and doing whatever it takes to survive and sometimes thrive. This is an excellent story that brings the reader to Kenya. The reader gets a good understanding of the realities of life there.” – Sheena Brennan, Book Editor