This essay locates the valences of the popular in Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s fiction to understand how Rwanda as a background for a thriller fits into a longer tradition of African popular genres that represent the aftermath of violent conflict. The question of whether Nairobi Heat and Black Star Nairobi attempt to illuminate the genocide or only evoke it as background shapes the approach to the popular. The essay then identifies ways in which Mukoma’s novels are also in conversation with the more canonical works of anticolonial “writing back” to empire and in fact perform an unnarration, or blotting out, of that discourse and the historical dynamics that inform it. Mukoma does not divorce himself entirely from this older literary project, which exercises a disruptive influence in the popular as he configures it. Finally, the essay examines the relation among action, morality, and sentimentality to identify how Mukoma reclaims the plot of intervention from the humanitarian framing of the failure of international intervention.