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My Life In Crime Book John Kiriamiti -

My Life In Crime Book John Kiriamiti - A True Story of a Notorious Kenyan Criminal

My Life In Crime is a 1984 novel by Kenyan author John Kiriamiti. It is a fictionalized account of Kiriamiti's criminality in Kenya during the 1960s and 1970s. The novel details Kiriamiti's crimes under the alias Jack Zollo that led to his imprisonment. It is the first novel in Kiriamiti's My Life... trilogy, which is currently being made into a film. [1]

In this article, we will explore the background, synopsis, and reception of this controversial and captivating book.



John Kiriamiti was a real-life criminal in Kenya during the 1960's and 1970's in the wake of the country's independence. Kiriamiti evaded the Kenyan police for all the crimes he committed until he was arrested in November 1970 on the eve of his wedding. He was charged and imprisoned on January 6, 1971 on counts of robbery. My Life In Crime was written and published while Kiriamiti was in jail. He was released in 1984, five months after the novel's publication. [2]

Kiriamiti wrote the novel as a way of confessing his sins and warning young people against crime. He also wanted to expose the corruption and brutality of the police and prison system in Kenya. He used his own experiences and those of his fellow inmates as inspiration for his characters and plot. [3]


The novel follows the life of John Kiriamiti, who adopts the name Jack Zollo as a criminal. Jack drops out of school at the age of 15 and becomes a pickpocket in Nairobi. He soon graduates to more serious crimes, such as car theft, burglary, and armed robbery. He joins a gang of notorious robbers who target banks, shops, and wealthy individuals. He also falls in love with Miriam, a beautiful schoolgirl who is unaware of his criminal activities.

Jack enjoys a lavish lifestyle with his ill-gotten money, but he also faces many dangers and challenges. He has to evade the police, who are constantly on his trail. He has to deal with betrayal from some of his accomplices, who either inform on him or try to cheat him out of his share. He also has to cope with his own conscience, which torments him for his crimes.

The novel reaches its climax when Jack is arrested on the day before his wedding to Miriam. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison with 48 strokes of the cane. He suffers from harsh conditions and torture in prison, but he also finds some solace in reading and writing. He eventually reforms and regrets his life in crime.


My Life In Crime was an instant bestseller in Kenya when it was published in 1984. It sold over 300,000 copies and became one of the most popular books in East Africa. [4] It was praised for its realistic and gripping portrayal of the underworld of crime in Kenya, as well as its moral message of repentance and redemption. It also sparked a debate on the causes and effects of crime in society, and the role of education, family, and justice in preventing it.

The novel also received some criticism for its graphic violence, explicit language, and sexual content. Some readers felt that it glorified crime and criminals, while others questioned its authenticity and accuracy. Some critics also accused Kiriamiti of plagiarism, claiming that he copied some scenes and characters from other books and movies.

The novel has been translated into several languages, including French, German, Spanish, Swahili, and Chinese. It has also been adapted into a stage play and a radio drama. A film adaptation is currently in production, with Kiriamiti as one of the producers.


My Life In Crime is a remarkable book that tells the true story of one of Kenya's most notorious criminals. It is a thrilling and captivating read that offers a rare insight into the world of crime in Kenya during the 1960s and 1970s. It is also a powerful testimony of how one can change from a life of sin to a life of grace.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it on [Amazon] or [Google Books]. You can also learn more about the author and his other books on [Goodreads] or [Wikipedia].

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. Please share your thoughts and comments below.


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