About Ukombozi Library

Ukombozi Library was established in 2017 by a group of progressive African libraries and information activists, in partnership with Vita Books, Mwakenya December Movement, and the Mau Mau Research. The Library aims to make available progressive material and to encourage reading, study, and research by working people in Kenya.

The need for such a library follows from the fact that progressive literature has been generally ignored by most libraries and learning institutions. Young people with passion to bring about improvement in the country and thirsty for materials that would inspire them in their quest for social justice get disappointed as such materials are hard to come by.

The Ukombozi Library has an initial collection of almost a thousand titles of progressive material, mostly books but also pamphlets, videos, and photographs. It incorporates December Twelve Movement’s underground library set up by Nazmi Durrani in the 1980s.  A majority of these are classics that are either out of print or cannot be found in the local bookshops.  Another material has been donated by Mau Mau Research Centre, Vita Books, and many progressive individuals active in the information struggle in Kenya.  

Ukombozi Library has incorporated the Community ReachOut initiative which breaks the colonial library mold and takes the library to various communities to enhance personal and national development. Community groups, libraries, and institutions are welcomed to be institutional members of the Ukombozi Library. The institution members borrow up to 5 titles from the Ukombozi Library for a maximum of 2 months. This initiative has already started with Mathare Social Justice Centre, Wahenga Artists in Kayole, and Dandora Community Justice Centre 

Presently, Ukombozi Library has become a hub and a meeting place for reading, sharing, discussing, and reflecting on progressive books, publications, ideas, among other engagements by college students and social movements activists from the older and younger generation that are actively engaged in the struggles for social justice in Kenya and elsewhere in the region and globally.

Ukombozi Library runs a printing press largely dealing on Print On Demand printing service 

Membership is open to all who agree with the vision and principles of the library irrespective of class, ethnicity, religion, gender, region, race, or disability.  Individuals or institutional membership is available on payment of appropriate fees I.e.  Ksh. 1,000 registration fee and refundable security deposit of Ksh. 2,000. Members are free to borrow books.