In the Novel, THE WISE ONE OF RAMOGILAND, Joseph R. Alila addresses the role of spirituality in life and politics in a society under cultural and political transitions. As a battery of ‘colonial forces’ conspire against Africa’s old way of life, wizards and prophets, who are loosing clients of the ordinary kind to New Way Churches, are forced to adapt to the new spiritual reality, even if it means taking funny-sounding Greek names.
In this work of fiction, Alila exposes the work of a woman of wisdom (Angelina Nyangi), her Ramogi people, their ways, their political leadership, and the perils of political cohabitation in Kenya’s young, multiethnic, multiparty democracy.
Nyangi’s lifetime experiences remind the reader that modern religious dispensations might have robbed soothsayers and wizards of many clients of the ordinary kind, but not the important ones: She discovers that the new political and business elites love to have their ancestors’ “sixth sense” watching over their backs. She is the elites’ sixth sense; only she is no prophet.
Now, in her sunset years, Nyangi reminisces about a life well lived, but one which had seen many antsy professional close calls shared between corrupt politicians and such strange clients as a professor of knowledge. If Angelina’s longevity has become abusive, the unseemly conducts of her eldest son and heir-apparent (Thomas) continues to hang around her neck like a bad dream.