Award winning African comedian and writer Njambi McGrath has announced her four part Radio 4 series and a Soho Theatre run of the same name ‘Accidental Coconut’. The political comedy show originated at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and received much critically acclaim. In it Njambi told her own truth in a moving, emotional, and powerful account of post-colonial Africa, families, suffering, love and violence.
“a unique voice with deliciously tart lines”– EVENING STANDARD
The Radio 4 Series is an exploration of what it is to have been born in a British colony and why do people, once subjugated by Britain, aspire to live there, and become British. Educated in the archaic system left behind when the British left Kenya (where she is from), Njambi’s education was predominantly about dead white men. Her white man encased in a brown body mentality only changed after the death of her father brought about a self-reckoning. She concluded that she was the epitome of the derogatory term coconut. She is the ‘accidental coconut’ because, through no fault of her own, she was exposed and taught to embrace everything British whilst shunning everything Kenyan.
On this journey, Njambi discovers, herself, her parents, grandmother and the rich tapestry of the Gikuyu tribe who were progressive vegans but were way more inclusive than modern society. She makes the shocking discovery that her great grandmother was an alpha female who married four wives and had a town named after her. Horrendously her mother spent 8 years in a concentration camp from age 8 – 16 with her mother and sisters. In 1960 they were ordered to destroy their homes and were left on the side of the road homeless and penniless.
Njambi was chosen as one of the Guardian and Jacaranda publisher’s Twentyin20 BAME writers in 2020. The critically acclaimed memoir ‘Through The Leopard’s Gaze’ (published last year) is a true account of the breakdown of her family, and the factors that accelerated their demise when as a teenager she became estranged from her father. The book encompassed growing up in Kenya, where Njambi aged 13 years was beaten and left to die by her father to his death. This period of her life, as Njambi says, “began with violence and it ended in violence”. The book has been optioned for a 6-part TV drama series by Expectation Entertainment.
“Written with poetic fortitude, Through The Leopard’s Gaze reveals that the hardest part of survival is not the experience of violence but the pressure you feel to make sense of it. Bravely sharing her own attempt to confront the past, Njambi’s memoir is a stunning portrayal of human brutality and human resistance – heart-breaking and empowering in equal measure.”–DAVID LAMMY MP
Check out the details of what coming from Njambi below.
RADIO 4 – 4 PART SERIES
22nd & 29TH September – 6th & 13th October @ 11pm
Mon 4th – Sun 10th October @ 7.15pm
On sale here Friday 6TH August
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