Should we expect a new book from Akinyi?

News that Judith Akinyi could have gone back to her old drugs trade did not exactly catch me by surprise. Although I did not interact with her on a one-on-one basis, after she was released from jail, I nevertheless saw her on many occasions during literary events when she was in the process of promoting her book Deadly Money Maker. The book detailed her experiences as a drug trafficker and on being jailed at the Lang’ata Women’s Prison for the same. Why do I say that it did not come as a surprise to me? First of all, seeing this woman at different events I always got the impression that something was amiss with her. She just did not look settled to me. Could it be that after the publishing of her book she expected ‘more’ from the society? Did she expect to become an instant millionaire from the sale of her book? Hadn’t someone told her in Kenya books don’t move that fast? Or better still hadn’t someone told her that Kenyan book publishers are not exactly good marketers of creative works? Well, after she came out of jail, she became a mini celebrity, what with every media outlet seeking to do an interview with her.

The Standard even made her their columnist. She might her gotten her publicity but the money did not come as fast as she would have expected, and she was starting to get anxious. Shortly after she was released, and the Nairobi literary scene could not get enough of her, I made the following observation on this blog: “All this hype will definitely do a lot of good to the book, which might boost its sales. Hopefully then, she might not be tempted to go back into crime. One thing though, all this hype risks getting into her head…” At that time I had called her with a view to interviewing her for the Sunday Nation, but she flatly refused, asking me to pay her first. That is when I knew that this woman was not genuine, and that she had not reformed. Save from the post on my blog, I never dared contradict fellow literary people who could see nothing wrong with Akinyi. Now that she has been arrested again for the same offence, my only hope is that she pens another book, this time, a blockbuster, from the ‘comfort’ of an European jail cell. I also hope that this time around afungue roho and tell it all. After reading Deadly Money Maker I got the impression that she withheld a lot of information…