by Billy Kahora.
In Urban Zoning, Billy Kahora introduces us to the barfly Kandle, Nairobi’s self-styled master of The Art of Seventy-Two-Hour Drinking. Billy Kahora’s Urban Zoning is one of five stories shortlisted for this year’s CainePrize, Africa’s leading literary award, now in its thirteenth year.
Outside on Tom Mboya Street, Kandle realized that he was truly in the Zone. The Zone was the calm, breathless place he found himself in after drinking for a minimum of three days straight. He had slept for less than fifteen hours, in strategic naps, had eaten just enough to avoid going crazy, and had drunk enough water to make a cow go belly-up. The two-hour baths of Hell’s Gate hot-spring heat had also helped. Kandle had discovered the Zone when he was seventeen….
Bio: Billy Kahora is the managing editor of the Kenyan literary journal Kwani? and the author of The True Story of David Munyakei (2009). His writing has appeared in Granta, Kwani?, Chimurenga and Vanity Fair. His short story, ‘Treadmill Love’, was highly commended by the 2007 Caine Prize judges. He is working on a novel titled, The Applications and is writing a book on Juba.