Book Review: Kizza Besigye & Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution

When I picked this book up, I was curious about the man the book was about. He is portrayed a certain way in Ugandan media and I wondered if that was all to him.
The brutha with the hoarse voice, always partly frowning, partly grimacing into the camera. Very confrontational – forever attached a UP pick-up.

If you have no clue who ‘he’ is – his name is Kizza Besigye, or KB – he belongs to and is one of the founding members of the FDC. FDC is one of the political parties in Uganda.

In all honesty, now that I have finished this book, I feel I got more than I bargained for. All I wanted to know was who is this KB and what his story was?!

Instead, I was quickly immersed into a intriguing story filled with so much history yet perfectly interwoven with KB’s life. A history of our country’s politics, the build up to the beginning of a regime – what was seen as a new dawn for our country.

Of friendships borne out of similar ideologies and patriotism. The endless switching of sides, the shifting of allegiances. An eerie sense settled as some scenes that bore a stark resemblance to present day events.

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Context was finally provided to those headlines that screamed at us in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Those names from news broadcasts when we were too young to be bothered by current affairs.

In the book, KB relays the reason why he is doing it all. The reason behind the arrests, the protests, the low growls. It took me by surprise though, guess the entire book took me by surprise.

Ah, this book!

Anyway, the story aside, I found that Daniel’s writing is quite interesting – at some points, it felt like I was watching a documentary.

He cleverly tells the story from various points of views, switches between different periods to allow for context.

It was a very easy read; captivating and engaging.


Ps: I had NO idea that Winnie, his wife, was the first female aeronautical engineer! Geeking out!!!

Side Note: This is the third book I am completing off the 2016 Africa Reading Challenge. My reading list is here in case you are looking for books to add to yours OR if you have book I simply must read feel free to share.

Africa39 – with a preface by Wole Soyinka

Next book is the Africa39 – it’s a compilation of 39 short stories authored by some of the most gifted/talented African writers (south of the Sahara / diaspora).

I wonder if this counts as cheating, since this will kindda be like reading 39 books at once. Tehehehe, I will probably write separate reviews about each.

**hides face** I think I am having way too much fun with this challenge

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Kizza Besigye & Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution”

  1. This was a beautiful “review” (He claims it isn’t) by Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire and he focus on the “Love” in the book [Picked from Facebook: Posted on 1st Aug 2015]

    I have so far read four different book reviews of Jack Daniel Kalinaki’s Besigye Book titled: Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution and I am disappointed none of the reviews actually reads the whole book as a story of love. I am reading more. Of course someone will tell me to write my own review, and I will, but look people, sometimes the politics is too much. Some people probably do not want to read the book because they have been told and think the whole thing is just about politics. You people! Have we become too partisan in our thinking we can no longer see love stories?
    I can’t imagine how people missed to see Museveni as the lover, torn between his legally wedded wife returning from exile and preferred by his family and traditionalists and his lover who helped him in important things like typing and drafting important documents? Why can’t people see the soft sides of the many characters in the book? Have we lost the eye for deeply romantic actions like Besigye choosing to study Medicine at university so he can meet with his high school lover at university? Guys! Did you not see that what stood in Besigye’s way before he joined the bush was his love for the woman he was living with in Nairobi? What about his father in law dissing him and Winnie over the choice to rear pigs? I can’t imagine that partisanship has robbed us of our ability to see and enjoy love stories.
    When Besigye was accused of rape, what do you think Winnie did? What would you do if your lover were accused of rape? Forget about political persecution and all that. What would you do? A person you are married to is accused of rape. Would you run to stand with him and defend his public image? Would you stand with the accusers? How do you think, at that human level Winnie Byanyima dealt with that crisis?
    I think at some point, politics and partisanship rob us of the chance to enjoy beautiful stories, let alone the style in which they are written. My rant over, let me start writing a proper review of this book. Those who are yet to read it, please do not be dissuaded by the reviews you have read that seem to suggest that the book is all politics. It is all human. It can be read as a complex love story. Those who have read it, for once, let us talk about the love stories in the book, and not the partisanship and politics. Let us even talk about the beauty and style of writing.


    1. Hahaha… I beg to disagree.

      For me, it might have morphed into a love story if more context was given in the book about the different scenes that BBM mentions. But the book doesn’t do that, quite the contrary, they are just small pieces in building up the complex puzzle that is KB.

      PS: Also, most of us avoid reviews with spoilers… BBM has many! insert grin

      Liked by 1 person

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