King Kamaliza is a captivating, hilarious exploration of traditional African concepts of leadership and modern democratic ideas. King Kamaliza is grappling with basic questions even as he tries to reconcile his conflicting ideas:
“Yes. I must have been born to be a King. Do you know when I was born; a huge cloud of white smoke flew out the roof of my mother’s house? My mother asked a diviner what it meant — not that she believed him, mark you, not that she believed in diviners — but the diviner told her that the smoke was a sign that a king had been born. Oh, yes. I was actually born a king! That is why I was nicknamed Musumbi, the King. You see, it was the same with Jesus. The Holy Book tells us that his birth was heralded with many miracles. Even a star was seen ascending in the east… In my case, in the case of King Kamaliza, a cloud of smoke was seen rising up from my mother’s house! “
How does King Kamaliza reconcile his ideas with the fact that he came to power by violently overthrowing the predecessor’s government? How does he handle the situation when others people come calling to overthrow his government? These are some of the questions that make King Kamaliza such a hilarious comedy, if only tragic.