Born in Nairobi a long time ago of Ugandan/English heritage, she was brought up at the coast of Kenya and schooled at Loreto, Makerere and UC Santa Cruz. Having lived and worked all over the world she has now settled back where she started, in Mombasa.
After four children and several marriages she is now dedicating time and energy to lifelong sublimated passion to write. First time around she co-wrote a play for German theatre and radio with the founder of Green Party, Günter Groeshel. She contributed a regular column for Msafiri, the Kenya Airways in-flight magazine, for several years. She also works in film and has written produced, co-produced and directed short films and two documentaries for NZTV and Lonely Planet. She also collaborates with directors on film, theatre and art projects. Her feature film story, “A Four-Weave Plait,” is in script development in Holland .
Suhaila says, “Have written a terrible first novel, as yet unpublished. Also, many short stories, some published in unimportant places, the rest waiting to be published as a collection (i.e. after novel hits the shelves – this is called a ‘strategic career plan….’ Ahem). Currently working on second novel, which I trust will be an improvement on first.”
“My Many literary influences including Doris Lessing, Alice Walker, Camille Paglia, Germaine Greer, James Baldwin and Kurt Vonnegut. I also enjoy essays of Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. I love Doreen Baingana’s ‘Tales from Entebbe ’. I wish there were more readable African women writing. Do not enjoy reading male authors, unless very, very humorous (like Binyavanga – grovel, grovel.) Have no burning or creative interest in war, poverty, crime, disease or death in the African context or otherwise. My main themes are humour, love, sex, madness, the strength of women and the indomitable human spirit.”