It was a debate about censorship that made me turn to writing. I was sixteen, in the last year of my primary education, and I had just been introduced to Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson by one of our teachers. I came from a rural community in colonial Kenya, so books were a rare sight in our lives. For me and my friends who were used to oral stories around the fireside in the evenings, it was quite a discovery that people could actually tell stories through writing-such interesting stories, too. One did not have to wait for the evening to hear them; one could read them, as I most certainly did, at any time of the day and night and even under the desk during a dull lesson. For me these writers were a special category of beings. I wanted to join their company, and outside the classroom I shared my secret desire with one of the students with whom I also shared books that came my way. “Why not?” was his response. It was then that the debate began.