Title: The Elephant Dance
Author: H. O Kulet
The Elephant Dance by H. Ole Kulet is a title that comes with a jacket of praise as it won the Text Book Center Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature 2017 Adult category. The exquisite book is thought-provoking and provides insight of the precarious situation of endangered species of wildlife within the savannah in Nakuru. A significant part of the book had me on the edge of my seat with exhilarating, suspenseful and true occurrence.
The inhabitants of Konini forest are comprised of two groups of hunters and gatherers and nomadic pastoralist. A foreigner, Dick Johns, who was lured into joining a lucrative business of harvesting “sandalwood’ by heinous poachers Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego settles in Konini forest. The innocent villagers are coaxed by through promises to have social amenities built and the agreement that Konini forest was still under their ownership by Dick Johns who was being used unknowingly by the trio as a cover-up.
Three hunters, Sena, Reson who are brothers and Pesi their uncle decided to trek to the forest as Reson had raised concerns after spotting wardens who seemed to raise the alarm. Their fears were confirmed. They were dumbfounded and distressed on the site of hundreds of carcasses of elephants.
The Konini police station was for long the epitome of corruption, and the poachers were able to get away with their crime. Two ladies Regina and Leah are deployed to head Konini to curb the poaching menace. It was then that the audacious Reson takes the bold initiative to report the detailed information to Regina about poaching amidst threats of risking his entire village being torched for the inside information.
Regina and Leah determined to conserve flora and fauna strategically and discerningly win the battle with the poachers who had planned to kill Regina after declining to cooperate through accepting bribes from them. Konini police station regains the former glory as one of the best police station, and the villagers recovered their land.
There Elephant Dance goes far beyond n the plight of elephants being poached and pushed to the brink of extinction. It sheds more light on money laundering by prominent businessmen and collaboration of local and international syndicates who are greedy to amass wealth at the expense of preserving natural habitats and human culture. The book is a must read for anyone interested in conservation or remotely concerned about what poachers are doing in Kenya or life.