By Jane Janet Akinyi
Jennie Marima, also known as Shi, is a talented and jovial author. She tells me she has been writing ever since she can remember. Shi has published 6 books so far; Rundo the Elephant, Super Sarah and the Lost Baby, Hello, Trio Troubles, The High Road and Just This Once. She has written a few short stories, too. You can get her books at Text Book Centre, Rafubooks.com and all leading bookstores. Her book Trio Troubles by Setmark Publishers won the 2019 Text Book Centre Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature for books written for children in English at the just concluded Nairobi International Bookfair. In 2017 her manuscript (now Just This Once) was a finalist in the 2017 Burt Award for Young Adult Literature. She gets inspiration from watching the world.
One of her favourite books is Kala Tufaha by Babu Omar. She says it is special to her because besides being a lovely read, she had the privilege of meeting with the late author whom she describes as a good-natured and kind .Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday is also another book she loves because she thinks it is the most creative book she’s ever read.
She believes E-books are good because they are easy to access regardless of where someone is. However, Shi prefers the hardcopy ones because she enjoys the thrill of flipping pages. Shi believes writing is both a learnt and a skill someone is born with. Provided one is determined and has the interest to write and the willingness to put in the work, one can shine their way to the top.
Shi believes that Kenyans read a lot- owing to their writing habits. Having worked at a publishing firm in Nairobi, she remembers the piles of manuscripts which were submitted almost on a daily basis. For her, this small sample suggested that Kenyans might be readers because they seemed to like writing A LOT. She suggests that for this mentality to change, there is need to produce more interesting books and need to stop making reading appear to like a chore because it’s truly one of the most fun things to do.
Apart from writing Shi enjoys great outdoors and trying new things. Shi also enjoys making You Tube videos about books, writing and everything in between. She calls herself a ‘wannabe’ vlogger. Shi Scribbles is the name of her YouTube channel.
And that’s Shi Marima in 3 minutes.
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