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Kenyan politician Martha Karua has been compared to Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones.

Two weeks before Kenya votes for a new president, online bookseller and blogger William Magunga has caused wild excitement by comparing Kenyan politicians to Game of Thrones characters on Facebook. The photo series is titled “Game of Thrones in Kenya.” The characters compared include Cersei Lannister, Ned Stark, Little Finger, Tywin Lannister, Robert Baratheon, Brienne of Tarth, Tommen Baratheon, Olenna Tyrell, Stannis Baratheon, and Aerys Targaryen.

William Magunga.

This isn’t the first time Magunga is causing us excitement. Last year, The New Yorker profiled his bookstore, The Magunga Bookstore, which is modeled on the Guardian’s online bookstore. But even before that, in 2014, we published his beautiful story of an artist in Nairobi.

Kenya will be voting on 8 August and recently had a presidential debate. See all the characters and the politicians they’ve been matched with, and a little highlighting of their shared character.

Ned Stark – Tom Mboya

(Poor thing. Too honourable to a fault. Could not play the Game of Thrones. Loved, gone, but not forgotten).

Little Finger – William Ruto

(A nobody who became somebody through sheer manipulation. Also, greed for land. Now very powerful at the top).

Tywin – Biwott

(R U T H L E S S N E S S).

Robert Baratheon – Kibaki

(Removes the Mad King from the Iron Throne).

Brienne of Tarth – Martha Karua

(Stong. Extremely loyal. Unwavering is a predominantly male space. Men cower in her presence. When battle comes, you want her fighting for you).

Tommen – Uhuru

(Last born child given the throne. Did not really want it, but oh well. Unable to govern. Nice at heart but adviced by evil men and women).

Olenna Tyrell – Mama Ngina

(Very powerful. Extremely Rich. No mercy).

Stannis – Raila

(Fought so hard but the throne is elusive).

Cersei – Lucy Baks

(The Mad Queen).

Moi – Aerys

(The Mad King).

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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