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Lumumba’s searching soul is finally out

By | December 6th 2009 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

By Wahome Thuku

Lawyer PLO Lumumba has done what his admirers and critics have often urged him to do — put his speeches in a book.

He has picked 36 of his speeches and essays in a new title, The Searching Soul that is just rolling off the press.

Dr Lumumba is famed for oratory skills and language use. He has a trademark for expressions, vocabulary and voice intonations.

On the podium, he employs a combination of literary techniques to deliver his message home.

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So much does he mesmerise his audiences that his articulations are a popular resource for caricatures and comedians. His listeners often quip they need a thesaurus to keep up with him.

Yet underlying his phrases will always be serious, well researched and thought provoking issues.

Lumumba receives invitations every season from institutions to speak on anything and everything.

Presented at forums

The new 452-page book published by Mvule Africa is a portion of what he has told the country and the world over the years.

The speeches and papers, some dating back to 1990s, were presented at different forums in Kenya, South Africa, United States and other parts of the world.

The diversity of the forums range from religious meetings, educational symposiums and health seminars to legal workshops and human rights talk shops.

He addresses issues of law and society, the HIV and Aids pandemic, political leadership, women and child rights.

Lumumba, touted to be the next Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission’s boss, has published widely in his legal field.

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof George Magoha says Lumumba has made great contribution to the field of knowledge.

"Indeed we can talk of such an institution as Lumumbaist thoughts and aphorisms.

These have not only made Lumumba a favourite speaker on an array of topics, but it has also steadily distinguished him as an astute scholar on account of the richness of his discourse," Magoha writes in the foreword.

Historical facts and figures

The Searching Soul is a combination of historical facts and figures, which the author has researched overtime and included in his essays.

The book links the readers to other great speeches and quotes by world-renowned authors and leaders such as Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Chinua Achebe among others.

Scholar Luis Franceschi describes the book as a buffet of ideas that reveals the writer’s encyclopaedic mind. Communications researcher Kibisu Kabetesi says it’s partly memoir and partly academic.

The book moves from recreational reading to a historical encyclopaedia.

Lumumba says his soul is constantly searching for answers.

"Every speech or essay in this collection is a quest for answers," he notes. And every speech he ever delivered was presided by a quiet prayer.

PLO Lumumba Prof George Magoha Ngugi wa thiong’o
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