31 Mar 2018

Ngugi wa Thiong'o - Decolonising the mind

From Saturday Morning, 10:30 am on 31 March 2018

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist, and currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. Born in Kenya when it was a British colony, as an adolescent he lived through the Mau Mau War of Independence (1952-1962), the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya and a major theme in his early works. In 1977, wa Thiong'o was arrested as a result of his play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), which was critical of the injustices of Kenyan society, and he was imprisoned without charge. It was at Kamiti Maximum Prison that wa Thiong'o wrote, on toilet paper, one of his most famous novels Caitani Mutharabaini (Devil on the Cross) (1981). Forced into exile in 1982, first to Britain and then to US, he has continued to talk, teach and write prolifically, including his memoirs Dreams in a Time of War (2010) and In the House of the Interpreter (2012). His latest is a prison memoir, Wrestling with the Devil (2018). Ngugi wa Thiong'o will be appearing at this year's Auckland Writers Festival. As referred to in the interview, you can see wa Thiong'o's story The Upright Revolution, translated into dozens of languages, here, and why it's such a milestone in African literature here.