Give Miguna Miguna His Due
“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” is a quote attributed to Andy Warhol, an American pop artist of great renown.
It seems that the Kenyan-Canadian print artist Miguna Miguna is not only milking every precious second of every minute, but also basking in the extra time allotted to him.
A quick memory jog for those asking, “Miguna who?” This chap, Miguna Miguna, is in his own words a former refugee who sought political asylum in Canada twenty-four years ago; he went on to read and practice law in Toronto but abandoned his courtroom gown and returned to Kenya in 2007. After the elections, Miguna became an advisor to the Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga.
Apparently, Miguna Miguna and his boss fell out and the former wrote a tell-it-all book directed at his benefactor.
Given the penchant for many a Kenyan for loving a good gossip, and buoyed by the serialization of the book by a leading local daily, many awaited Miguna’s book launch with sheer alacrity.
Launch day dawned and Miguna Miguna did not disappoint. His melodramatic delivery and pomposity led to one of the fastest book sales at the initial launch in Kenya!
And then all hell broke loose. A demonstration, eerily reminiscent of the retrogressive dark days KANU [mis] rule ensued in Nyando, Miguna Miguna’s rural home.
Scores of people led by their member of parliament went on a Miguna effigy burning and mock funeral spree, and declared Miguna Miguna a personae non-gratae in his own hometown.
Then the judicial system came calling, and at the crack of dawn, Miguna Miguna booked himself an international flight out of Kenya.
Within days, the hitherto successful book launch and a potential windfall for Miguna and his publisher came to a cropper. Someone somewhere leaked the ‘Peeling Back the Mask’ manuscripts online!
Not a bunch to pass on a freebie, many a Kenyan with internet connection saved themselves Ksh 3000 and I am sure Apple iTunes went green-eyed with envy at the number of [il] legal downloads Miguna’s book received.
In his lawyerly personae, Miguna Miguna went on a copyright or is it intellectual property litigious mood and suddenly the link(s) to the free download disappeared.
Unfortunately, it was a case of closing the barn door after the horse had bolted.
In the light of these events, Miguna’s lovers and haters had a field day, especially on social sites and new media. I will not waste time delving into the details but the media circus created around ‘Ja-Nyando’, ‘Njuguna Njuguna’, ‘Mi-gooner’ and other monikers accorded Miguna Miguna, went on overdrive.
At the submission of this 3rd rated article, so much has happened in relation to one Miguna Miguna, and of course I am working on that. Meantime, I want us to hold ourselves accountable to a few things.
Firstly, kudos to all and sundry that procured Miguna Miguna’s book the legit way, purchasing it at the launch or at wherever books are sold. Thank you for being model citizens akin to Caesar’s wife, ‘’of absolutely impeccable conduct; totally beyond reproach; without even the implication of impropriety.”
Peter Mwaura a favourite of mine called it as it is in his opinion piece http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-/440808/1470576/-/lnynhgz/-/index....
Mwaura chastises, “If you downloaded a free copy, you stole, according to the copyright law. You’re an intellectual property thief!
Yes, you and you and me, are being called out! Forget the holier than thou Facebook posting or a venting tweet in solidarity with Miguna Miguna, if you cannot back your rhetoric with actions, then you are blowing hot air.
If you are mad at the watering down of chapter 6 of the Kenyan constitution, yes, ‘Leadership and Integrity’ and/or you are seething with anger at the manhandling of Miguna Miguna, do your country and yourself a huge favour, buy Miguna Miguna’s book in hard cold cash!
According to Peter Mwaura, “Daniel Ogana, a Kenyan lawyer working in Johannesburg, e-mailed Mr Miguna on July 25, saying he had just received a free e-copy of his book and he would like to pay for it. Mr Miguna gave him his M-Pesa account.” And another kind heart opined, “If you want to read the book, fork out 3k and read it!” “I downloaded and deleted the book. I want to pay Sh3, 300 for that book.”
There you are the Facebook champion of justice and Twitter activist! Redeem yourself to yourself! FYI e-book fans you are taken care of too.
And oh by the way I did my due diligence, I went online and grabbed me a copy at
I doubt I’ll read the book immediately but I love to parade my collection, and every time I cast a quick look at my book stand, the feeling of guilt I had for accepting an illegal freebie will be replaced with an elephantine sigh of relief that I amended my ways and can stand accounted as a true crusader for Miguna Miguna rights, because by extension, Miguna Miguna rights are my rights.
By Joji Muwangi
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