Joe Sabuni (aka Jonas Kilmani)

Created by Tish Farrell

JONAS KILMANI  is a young man in the fictional African nation of Mbogono, and he’s by no means a natural detective. But when his uncle Micah offers him a job tracking down a guy who owes him money, Jonah jumps at the chance — after all, he has student loans to pay, and a demanding girlfriend, Keziah, with expensive tastes.

So he goes undercover as “JOE SABUNI, private investigator,” in the eponymous 2002 YA novel, Joe Sabuni, P.I., part of the Junior African Writers Series published by Heinemann International Literature and Textbooks. He picked “Sabuni” because it’s the Kiswahili word for “soap,” and Jonas thinks he’s as “slick as a bar of soap.”

He’s not though. It  soon becomes apparent, however, as Joe travels by bus upcountry, that he’s completely out of his depth, and that there’s something’s really not quite right out there that goes way beyond crops left to rot in the fields. According to the blurb, there’s “another kind of corruption, with money and drugs,” and it’s up to Jonas to do something.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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