We Only Come Here to Struggle: Stories from Berida's Life

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9780253337016: We Only Come Here to Struggle: Stories from Berida's Life

Here is the life history of Berida Ndambuki, a Kenyan woman trader born in 1936, who speaks movingly of her experiences under the turbulences of late British colonialism and independence. A poverty survivor, Berida overcame patriarchal constraints to reclaim the rights to her labor, her body, and her spirit. She invokes a many-faceted picture of central Kenyan life in this compelling narrative.

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About the Author:

Berida Ndambuki has been living and working in Nairobi for almost thirty years, while travelling back and forth to her home, Kathonzweni, in Ukambani, Kenya. Her work as a retailer of dried staples and dealer in other commodities has taken her into Uganda and Tanzania, as well as all over Kenya. She is married and has nine surviving grown children, as well as numerous grandchildren. She is a leader of women's groups in Kathonzweni and at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. This is her first literary endeavor.

Claire Robertson, Associate Professor in the departments of History and Women's Studies at the Ohio State University, has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in African History, and has specialized in the study of African women, especially traders, for some twenty-five years. She has published numerous articles and four books including Sharing the Same Bowl: A Socioeconomic History of Women and Trade in Accra,Ghana
(1984), which won the 1985 Herskovits Prize from the African Studies Association, and Trouble Showed the Way: Women, Men, and Trade in the Nairobi Area, 1890-1990 (1997), during the research for which she became friends with Berida Ndambuki. Their collaboration produced this book.

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Berida Ndambuki; Claire Cone Robertson
Published by Indiana University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0253337011 ISBN 13: 9780253337016
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Book Description Indiana University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0253337011

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Berida Ndambuki, Claire Cone Robertson
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Berida Ndambuki, Claire Robertson
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Book Description Indiana University Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, "We Only Come Here to Struggle": Stories from Berida's Life, Berida Ndambuki, Claire Robertson, "We Only Come Here to Struggle" is the story of Berida Ndambuki. In her own voice, she relates her personal history, presenting herself as neither an uncontested victim, an unblemished survivor, nor a triumphantly empowered victor. Her story demonstrates the fallacy of the traditional/modern model so often applied to Africa, and her knowledge reaches from her grandmother's experiences in the early twentieth century, through British colonialism (especially the 1950s Emergency/Mau Mau rebellion), Kenyan independence, and contemporary struggles, both political and economic.The massive changes that enveloped Kenya impacted the lives of Berida and her family members in many ways, not least in her constant struggle for survival when faced with supporting sixteen children with minimal help from her husband and generous though episodic support from her brothers. With no formal education and only farming skills, Berida set out to dig her family out of poverty she was largely successful in doing so through her trade in dried staples and other commodities. Faced with incorporation into a disadvantageous world economy, Berida has grappled with life-threatening disease, the death of children, domestic abuse, famine, alcoholism, poverty, AIDS, the necessity to pursue illegal trade on occasion, and political turmoil. In her triumphs over adversity she seized control of her own body and helped raise awareness among her friends and associates of women's potential and problems.She became an organiser of women's groups and a market leader. For most of her life she has done long-distance commuting under difficult circumstances, and coped successfully with the dual responsibilities imposed by that double life, buttressed firmly by her Christian convictions. At the same time she has preserved a zest for life and sense of humor that enliven her narrative and captivate the reader. This narrative, put into final form by Claire Robertson is complemented by Berida!, a videotape portraying the paradoxes of Berida's life as she pursues her daily rounds in Nairobi and Kathonzweni. Together they present a well-rounded portrait of a contemporary African woman who refuses to submit to stereotyping and claims our respect in sharing her fears and her triumphs. Bookseller Inventory # B9780253337016

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Berida Ndambuki/ Claire C. Robertson
Published by Indiana Univ Pr (2000)
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Book Description Indiana Univ Pr, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 138 pages. 9.75x6.50x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0253337011

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