The Luo Dreamers’ Odyssey: From the Sudan to American Power

JRAlilaTheLuoDreamers'OdysseyTHE LUO DREAMERS’ ODYSSEY: FROM THE SUDAN TO AMERICAN POWER  ( is starting its third month since its release. For a book by an independent author, it is doing very well. My readership’s comments have been varied as “that phrase is more DhoLuo or Alilian English than American English” to “Great plot and dialogue,”  or “Did you dream about this episode?”

What is clear to me is that the novel has touched a psychic chord among my readers, the way any spiritual literature should. That is a strong statement because I didn’t set out to offer a spiritual narrative of one Luo man’s march to the Presidency of the United States of America—that came later. When I set out to write the novel, my intention was to assert that, my characters ascendancy to the throne at the citadel of world power, was the final leg of a physical historical march out of the Sudan 600 years ago. Then as I dug into history to find out how our Luo journey started, it struck me that nobody knows where Ramogi the Great, the father of the Luo tribes came from—some accounts claiming that he came from the soil, with the Luo of Kenya asserting that his origin is unknown, which is the wisest way to explain an event which was not recorded 600 to 700 years ago.

Historical fiction became the logical medium for tackling a narrative that would turn out to be more about a perilous spiritual odyssey than a physical journey through time, as I attempted to answer such questions as “Why did the Luo tribes split if they were the sons of one man? Is there a spiritual touch on some Luo leaders? Is my main character’s (President Hassan Ajwang’s) journey part of the long history of Luo spiritual leadership?” Of course all the questions were asked in the spirit of creative liberty.


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