Chapter 8 to 14 Summary of Kiriamiti’s My Life in Crime

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My Life in Crime Chapter Summary
Chapter by Chapter Summary of My Life in Crime
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My Life in Crime is a 1984 semi-autobiographical novel written by John Kiriamiti, a Kenyan author, about his experiences as a notorious criminal in Nairobi during the 1970s. The novel explores themes of criminality, redemption, regret, and the consequences of one’s actions.

The novel is divided into fourteen chapters. This blog post is a summary of the last seven chapters of Kiriamiti’s My Life in Crime.

Chapter 8 Summary

With the help of Hirji Shah, Jack sells his Volvo for 600,000 francs, a little over 10,000 Kenyan shillings, as he has no need of it. He buys a radio-gramme and a tape recorder.

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Mr Stephano’s daughter, Hellene, falls in love with Jack and asks him to marry her, even if it means eloping with him to Kenya. She warns Jack to end his love affair with Miss Makarios, Stephano’s secretary, or she will make him regret.

Jack is also warned by Karamikos to stop his relationship with his sister, Hellene.  To make things worse, Miss Makarios informs Jack that she is pregnant and promises to kill herself if he refuses to marry her and save her from the impending stigma. Jack asks for two to three weeks to think about it and to approach her mother.

He receives a letter from Miss Makarios, giving him three days, not three weeks. The letter is threatening. Later that day, Hellene also informs him that she is pregnant for him and suggests they run away to Kenya to get married. Jack comes up with the idea of running back to Kenya alone to avoid further scandals.

Chapter 9 Summary

Jack finalises his arrangements to flee the Congo. He accompanies Kamamikos in search of his African girl. They meet her at a party in the apartment of her secret lover, Rashid. Efforts to get her away from Rashid result in a serious fight, with Jack stabbing two boys and a girl pretty badly. On the night of his departure, Jack writes a letter, addressed to Mr. Stephano, explaining his reasons for running away. The following morning, after cashing out the wages of the workers, he drives to the airport, ready to flee the country back to Kenya. He is informed during the flight that there is an instruction to be delayed.

He is detained in Astrida, Rwanda. However, he escapes through the toilet window. He gets help from a man named Silvester Mukasa, who aids him in changing the francs into Kenyan shillings. He introduces Jack to Davis Kiwanuka, who works for EAA. He finally travels back to Kenya in disguise.

My Life in Crime
My Life in Crime front cover.

Chapter 10 Summary

Jack arrives in Kenya, looking odd in appearance and empty-handed. Milly compliments him. He learns that most of his friends have either been condemned to death, killed in action, or sentenced to life, except Captain Henry Mugugu.

He finally meets Captain Mugugu in the Cameo Theatre. They arranged for a job involving an Indian. The job is not successful, and Jack gets nothing. He is angry because he had promised Milly and the kids that he would buy them presents. He thinks of hitting a big job that would enable him to quit crime for good.

Chapter 11 Summary

Jack’s mother visits and on his way to receive her, Jack runs into Stanley, who brings up a job estimated at 500,000 or 600,000 shillings at the end of the month or half the amount at any other time.  Jack agrees to be a part of the job on the condition that every member of the gang be introduced to the group to avoid a repeated performance of their last robbery.

He kicks against Njenga’s membership in the gang because he is an informant for the police. The robbery fails, and Jack and Captain Mugugu run into the forest to escape.

Chapter 12 Summary

Jack and Captain Mugugu run deeper into the forest to evade arrest. Jack is separated from Captain Mugugu.  Jack takes a human hostage—a lady and her lover—in their own house. An inspector appeals to him to surrender, but he gets away, steals a car, and abandons it at Thika. 

He finally gets to his hideout with 40,860 Shillings out of the 180,000 Shillings.  He learns the next day that two members of the gang lost their lives and another two were arrested. 

He gets home and is confronted by Milly over the robbery incident, but he denies taking part. He thinks of settling down. He buys a second-hand Peugeot family saloon car, which he hands over to a cousin for Matatu services. He runs into Stanley, and he is able to get 15,000 shillings from him. In total, he makes over 100,000 shillings from the failed robbery.

Chapter 13 Summary

Milly pressurises him to marry her. She opts for a public wedding ceremony and Jack obliges her. He spends extravagantly to prepare for the wedding ceremony slated for the 15th of December, in Murang’a.

On the 14th of December, a day to the wedding, Jack is arrested by C.I.D officers in the company of Peter Musili but not before a shootout. He is immobilised, arrested and taken back to Nairobi. He is left thinking of the wedding cancellation and the huge disappointment it will result in.

Chapter 14 Summary

Jack is charged to court, alongside Henry Mugugu, Peter Musili, and Stanley Githenji, for his criminal activities. They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges brought against them. While at it, he is visited by Milly, his brother Samuel, and William, who was meant to be his best man.

He is given a twenty-four-year jail sentence with twenty strokes of cane and the right to appeal within fourteen days. By the end of the novel, Jack Zollo has completed his book, My Life in Crime, a narrative about his criminal activities and his run from the long arm of the law. He contemplates writing about his experiences in prison.

Further Reading:

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