Ngugi Wa Thiongo Essay

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Ngugi wa Thiong'o (b. 1938; formerly known as James Ngugi) |
 Kenyan teacher, novelist, essayist, and playwright, whose works function as an important link between the pioneers of African writing and the younger generation of postcolonial writers. After imprisonment in 1978, Ngugi abandoned using English as the primary language of his work in favor of Gikuyu, his native tongue. The transition from colonialism to postcoloniality and the crisis of modernity has been a central issues in a great deal of Ngugi's writings. Again the owl cried. Twice!
'A warning to her,' Njorege thought. And again his whole soul rose in anger – anger against all those with a white skin, all those foreign elements that had displaced the true sons of the land from their God-given place. Had God not promised Gekoyo that he would give all the land to the father of the tribe – he and his posterity? Now all the land had been taken away. (from 'The Martyr,' in African Literature, ed. by Lennart Sörensen, 1971) Ngugi wa Thiong'o was born in Kamiriithu, near Limuru, Kiambu District, the fifth child of the third of his father's four wives. At that time Kenya was under British rule, which ended in 1963. Ngugi's family belonged to the Kenya's largest ethnic group, the Gikuyu. His father, Thiong'o wa Nducu, was a peasant farmer, who was forced to become a squatter after the British Imperial Act of 1915. Ngugi attended the mission-run school at Kamaandura in Limuru, Karinga school in Maanguu, and Alliance High School in Kikuyu. During these years Ngugi became a devout Christian. However, at school he also learned about the Gikuyu values and history and underwent the Gikuyu rite of passage ceremony. Later he rejected Christianity, and changed his original name in 1976 from James Ngugi, which he saw as a sign of colonialism, to Ngugi wa Thiong'o in honor of his Gikuyu heritage. In 1962 Ngugi's play The Black Hermit was produced in Kampala. To pursue graduate studies he left in 1964 for England,...

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