Still Sings the Nightbird Philo Ikonya, 2013
African Books Collective
Still Sings the Nightbird
Do we live inside the breasts of our mothers? In the mind and hearts of two women, indeed at their breasts a nation lives. The whole universe is in the lives of the people Philo writes about. They hear the song of the nightjar and it has meaning. Inside a mother’s chest her daughter hangs like a silent unvenerated Pieta.“Wakabi has eyes inside her breast. She sees from inside there. She knows this story well…” A country’s literature is rooted in its history. But when history is full of hardship can authors create books pregnant with optimism? In Still Sings the Nightbird Philo Ikonya defies the currents of hopelessness to point her readers to a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel of nightmares. Out of the lonely cry of a nightjar, the rape of Kabi and indeed of Kenya, appears a light beaming into a brighter future.