In the aftermath of Kenya's 2007/2008 post-election violence, fiction writer Alexander Nderitu began to work on more serious topics such as the short story 'Harvest of Blood (The Saddest Story You Will Ever Read)' which appears in his book, 'Kiss, Commander, Promise'. Meticulously researched, Harvest of Blood tells how the 1994 Rwanda genocide began and quickly spiralled into an international nightmare. The idea was to show Kenyans how easy it is for a country to slip into total anarchy.
Here's the author's own introduction to Harvest of Blood :
'I first decided to write a piece on the Rwandan genocide after I had a chat with a Rwandan representative I met at the Grand Regency (now Laico Regency) in Nairobi back in 2001. The envoy was an official in the Assemblée Nationale of the République Rwandaise, in charge of youth affairs. He was among the delegates from around the continent who had converged in Nairobi for an International Leadership Seminar convened by Dr.Chung Hwan Kwak, a disciple of Rev.Dr.Sun Myung Moon. I had arrived at the seminar as a member of the press.
In the gilded lobby of the Regency, the envoy told me about the problems facing the youth in Rwanda. Listening to him, I could only imagine the trauma ordinary folks went through, and the fear resident in them, seven years earlier, when the Hutu army and Interahamwe militia perpetrated the worst act of genocide to ever pollute the soil of Africa. What surprised the world was that ordinary people, both men and women, rapidly joined in the ethnic cleansing, hunting down and killing their own neighbours, or betraying them to the militia.
And then in 2008, my own home country erupted into ethnic war and once again, it was neighbour against neighbour. So, with Carbon/Silicon’s hit song ‘Why Do Men Fight?’ playing in the background, let me dust off my research material and write the story I have been putting off for so long. Perhaps if I bring back the horrors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Kenyans will think twice before they go down that road again…'