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Writer Ngugi marks book’s anniversary

Renowned author Ngugi wa Thiong’o will this week participate in a series of events in the country as part of the celebration of 50 years since his debut novel Weep Not, Child was published.

Kiarie Kamau, the managing director of East African Educational Publishers, which publishes wa Thiong’o’s books locally, on Saturday said that the author will address teachers and students from Kamukunji at Eastleigh High School on Wednesday.

He will then hold a colloquium on the University of Nairobi’s main campus on Thursday.

This will be followed by a public lecture at the same location, what Mr Kamau says will be the highlight of wa Thiong’o’s visit to the country.

Among those expected to attend the public lecture are Fred Matiang’i, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communication Technology, and Dr Hassan Wario, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts.

On Saturday, wa Thiong’o will be at a book signing event at Text Book Centre at Sarit Centre in Nairobi.


The writer arrived in the country on June 2 and began the series of events on Wednesday when he gave a public lecture at Kenyatta University.

He gave a talk the following day at his alma mater Alliance High School, where he also launched his latest book, In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir.

His children Tee, Nducu, Wanjiku and Mukoma also launched their books at the function.

On Friday, 77-year-old wa Thiong’o paid a courtesy call to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at his chambers.

He later gave another talk, this time at Makini High School, on the same day.

Wa Thiong’o strongly advocated for was use of African languages and for everybody to know his mother tongue or the mother tongue of their culture.

“If you know all the languages of the world but you do not know your mother tongue or the language of your culture, that is enslavement; but if you know your mother tongue or the language of your culture and on top of that all the languages of the world, that is empowerment” he said.

This story was written for publication in the Sunday Nation