It’s in the 1980s in Mbale, a small town in Western Kenya. Hillary Lisimba Ambani is growing up with a strict disciplinarian mother whom he calls Thatcher who beat the hell out of him for every infraction he did or did not commit.
In The Boy with Shoes, Hillary tells us how it was to grow up in that era, a time that set pace for the 21st Century middleclass. When his mother bought him the first ever and only pair of shoes in the whole school, it was his bane—he was an outcast in school, and a recalcitrant at home: he wants to wear the shoes yet he doesn’t; he has to, yet he doesn’t.
The book is a spellbinding narration of how life was growing up in the ‘80s, the dreams all children have of becoming anything when they grow up, and the authoritarianism that mothers had on their children.
Hillary Lisimba Ambani is an avid reader and writer. He studied Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi. He has worked as a producer at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Flave Media in Tanzania. The Boy with Shoes is his first in a series of five books that revolve around the intricacies of what it means to be in a country that is always almost taking off but never does.