Folklore and identity in Joe Khamisi’s selected autobiographical works



autobiography, autobiographical writing, folklore, identity, Joe Khamisi


Guided by autobiographical and post-colonial theories, this study identified and discussed the use of folklore for sociopolitical identity in Joe Khamisi’s autobiography. The specific objectives were to identify the integration of folklore in the selected work and to interrogate how the author uses folklore to signal sociopolitical identity. The selected autobiography is a good record of Kenya’s immediate history from the colonial period to the present especially from 1943 up to 2007 when the author lost his Bahari constituency seat.


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Author Biography

June Chebet Chelule, Department of Literature, University of Nairobi, Kenya

June Chebet holds MA in Literature from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She has a special interest in literature and linguistics.


James, C. (1963). The Black Jacobins. Random House, Inc.

Khamisi, J. (2011). The Politics of Betrayal: Diary of a Kenyan Legislator. Trafford: Trafford Publishing.

Khamisi, J. (2014). Dash Before Dusk: A Slave Descendant's Journey in Freedom. Trafford: Trafford Publishing.

Marcus, L. (1994). Auto/biographical discourses Theory Criticism Practice. Manchester University Press.

Muchiri, J. (2014). The Intersection of the Self and History in Kenyan Autobiographies. Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies, 1(1), 83-93.

Mukutu, E. J. (2018). Defining and Constructing the Self in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Autobiography Detained: A Writers Prison Diary. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(6), 61-76. Retrieved from

Samwel, E. K., & Duhoe, A. A. A. (2020). Folklore as an Emergent of Residual Culture. Journal of Postcolonial Writing and World Literatures, 1(1).



How to Cite

Chelule, J. C. (2021). Folklore and identity in Joe Khamisi’s selected autobiographical works. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(1).