Nine year-old Karo is a troubled otherworldly girl born in a family with no moral fiber. She is molested by an alcoholic father. Her mother is torn between helping her daughter and desperately protecting her marriage. She puts up with it. Helpless, Karo endures ordeal after ordeal of rape and torture from a protector-turned-molester father.When she confides in her grandmother Cucu Wangari about the source of the peril that turns her own father to sexually use her, Cucu leads her through a ritual in which a wandering evil spirit is made to posses her leading her to set ablaze her family house on her ninth birthday, burning alive her parents and her sister. The spirit, Nyawira, is the restless ghost of a nine-year-old girl who seeks vengeance on the residents of the village of Ndathia on the slopes of Mount Kenya who killed her under bizarre circumstances more than thirty years before. This eerily demented spirit takes possession of Karo and gives her an appetite for blood. She turns Karo into an cold-hearted slayer whose new natural inclination is to lure people she doesn't like into death by using her mind to light up fires and set up accidents. She ropes Karo into a dramatic whirlpool that that takes her to Nairobi and a decade later Karo grows into a marginally pubescent woman. She kills anyone who prevents her from getting what she wants. When she is locked up in a mental sanatorium, Dr. Muthoni, a psychologist specializing in "psychoplasmics" -- the physical manifestation of a person's rage -- takes up her case, treats her and discovers that Karo’s manifestations go well beyond the usual welts and scars. She and her equally cold-hearted colleagues in the institution use Karo as a test subject from one experiment to another for four years. But Karo is given new powers to free herself and her ability to light fires with her mind finally leads her to burn Dr, Muthoni, her colleagues and the entire mental facility down to the ground. Karo escapes. This is where it gets serious… it begins here. This is where the story begins.
I am a retired graphic designer and author with work appearing in various print venues. I also write for online publications, periodicals, feature articles and the like. I live in Nairobi and spend weekends in Kisumu and Homa Bay.
I was born in Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria in Kenya. I grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Kisumu. I grew up admiring books. My family lived near Kisumu Area Library and my early life was about books. I spent many hours in the Library and in bookstores in Kisumu, and I would spend evenings and weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. I was given the nickname "Master Storyteller" by my friends in 1980 because I loved to retell the stories I had read. I made up things and told lies. Really good ones — some of which my boyhood friends still believe. This was the era when television and movies were still a novelty and beyond the reach of many. The most convenient form of entertainment was reading novels. I was a huge bookworm all the way up to high school. The library was my safe place and my friends were all avid readers as well. I studied fine art at the Notre Dame Catholic Art Centre in Kisumu under renowned watercolorist, Janet Mullen and then proceeded to Kenya Polytechnic University to study graphic design and communication. Although I had always made up stories in my head, I did not write as a young boy other than essays for school. In high school, in Kisumu, it was a longheld belief that I will be a writer some day. My friends and colleagues always chided me about it, asking when "my book" was going to be published. My family, too, waited. I started seriously writing in college in Nairobi, but even that wasn't serious writing; I was involved heavily in theatrical activities and produced work that was performed, a little here and an occassional one-act play there... things I wasn't serious about and which did not find their way into print. When I graduated and started working I found myself with more free time and have started reading again. I wrote a lot during this time, published some works. Not much has changed since then, except now some of the interesting books I pick off the shelves are written by myself! Little wonder today I am a full time writer and author. The feeling of escaping into a completely different world and losing yourself for hours in the pages of books has much remained. I love books. I love turning pages. I loved immersing myself in stories, losing myself in twists and turns of plots. My world is the Book World. I read on my Samsung phone and my iPad in my car and on the bus. I frequent bookstores, I download tons of books, I spend many hours reading. Writing fiction can help you incorporate knowledge from a wide variety of sources and use it in your own dream land.
Happy 9th Birthday is quick-paced, fascinating and disturbing -- largely because it's so well-written. Broadly drawn characters and a ridiculous plot only heighten the deliciously dark mystery of this popcorn thriller. Okang’a Ooko's visual style in this one is packed with kinetic style, dreamlike sequences and lush colors. His cinematic direction, oodles of atmosphere, a strong cast and realistic, well-rounded characters make this story a true diamond in the rough.