Eunniah Mbabazi: The Determined Writer Who Ditched Engineering And Became An Acclaimed Author

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Eunniah Mbabazi, an author with several publications to her name has dared to dream and given her best to become an acclaimed author. She first burst into the Kenya’s literary sector by publishing ‘Breaking Down’, an anthology of 11 stories which was released in June 2019.

Growing up, Mbabazi wanted to become a teacher of English and literature but she scored outstanding grades, and her dad said she had to pursue  ‘something better.’ That is how she matriculated at the Technical University of Mombasa for a degree in electrical engineering. But as fate would have it, she ended up becoming an author.

In this article, WoK takes a look at Mbabazi’s illustrious career.

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Background

Mbabazi was raised in Kakamega County and is a second born in a family of three. She began her studies at Musanda Primary School and then joined St. Anne’s Mumias where she sat for her KCPE.

The bubbly writer became an avid reader at a tender age due to the fact that her father, Robert Atino was a fasihi teacher and would bring various books at home. She joined Lugulu Girls High School in Bungoma where she ventured into writing poems.

She was also part of the school choir and scripted some of the poems that got recited by the institution. Gifted with an acerbic wit, Mbabazi scored impressive grades when she sat for KCSE.

Studying Engineering

She wanted to study English and Literature but her dad didn’t welcome the idea.

My dad looked at me and said no way you’re going to do English and Literature with these high grades,” she said in a past interview.

Mbabazi contemplated pursuing medicine but the dream would hit headwinds as her scores couldn’t match the high cutoff points. Finally, she went on to study electrical engineering at the Technical University of Mombasa. Despite the programme ‘not resonating well with her soul’, she was dedicated to her studies and graduated in 2018.

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As an engineer, she briefly worked with the Italian Space Agency where her work entailed tracking of space rockets. However, she would later concentrate into bringing out the best of her imagination and life experiences through her pen.

Writing Career

While in campus, Mbabazi came across a popular blog that published poetry and reached out to the owner. She would then begin contributing her work. In the dying days of 2018, she attended a writers’ guild closing ceremony and promised the audience that she was going to publish a book by February 2019.

Photo|Eunniah Mbabazi|Facebook

 

Mbabazi missed out on the deadline, but not on her big ambition. She made a breakthrough and published Breaking Down, an anthology of 11 stories. The book explored the themes of sadness, pain, freedom and peace and was released in June 2019.

The following year, Mbabazi published If My Bones Could Speak, a collection of 84 poems. The book was officially launched through her Facebook account due to covid-19 restrictions.

Mbabazi is also a co-author of the novel Kas Kazi and an anthology, When The Stranger Called. In 2022, she published another anthology, The Unbirthed Souls.

Book Club 

Mbabazi is the brains behind Between The Covers Books Club which recently marked its 3 years anniversary. According to her, she began the club after her application to another famous club was turned down.

Three years ago, I desperately wanted to join some famous book club in Nairobi. After days and months of begging, they sent me a long form to fill, stating why I thought I was a good fit for their book club”.

“After all those shenanigans, they sent me a very short rejection letter: Sorry, you do not suit our requirements,” she narrated her frustrations on Facebook.

Editorial work

Eunniah is also an editor and writer for the Kenyan Wall Street publication. It is a surprise that she didn’t like business studies as a subject but she now writes business news for Money254. She also writes short stories on her blog, mbabaziafrica.com.

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