Welcome back to Literature Tuesdays.
Today I have selected a play from one of my favourite authors Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o “Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want)”. I first came across this one during my first year at the University of Ghana. I was also fortunate enough to see a live performance of this amazing play by some of the students in the performing arts department.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a legend and one of the revolutionary post-colonial writers. This play in particular was banned in Kenya as it depicted the hypocrisy of post-colonial Kenyan society. He and his coauthor were arrested for writing this play and other writings, so they forced to live in exile. I believe he has been robbed of a Nobel Prize in Literature since 2010 – as he was nominated NINE times but has yet to be awarded one.
I Will Marry When I Want is a controversial play set in post-colonial Kenya and explores themes such as class struggle, poverty, gender, culture, religion, modernity vs. tradition, and marriage and family. I won’t post any spoilers – I promise you this is a really good one which will likely ignite a fire in you and Ngugi just has a way with words.
I love proverbs and witty quotes – this like many African literature has plenty of it. Here are a few that I like:
“A man brags about his own penis, however tiny”
“…Even a wise man can be taught wisdom”
“Religion is not the same thing as God”
“Religion is the alcohol of the soul”
“No one regrets the going as the returning”
“A man does not go in the dark with empty hands”
“A hyena is very greedy but she does not eat her young”
OTHER NOTABLE WORKS
“Weep Not, Child”
“Wizard of the Crow”
“Dreams in a Time of War”
“Petals of Blood”
“The Black Hermit”
“Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer’s Awakening”
“The River Between”
“Devil on the Cross”
“The Trial of Dedan Kimathi”
In the next coming weeks, I will share recommendations from two modern greats – Yaa Gyasi and Chimamanda. I will conclude the series with 10 books from different authors worth checking out.
Have you read any books by Ngugi? Kindly share some of them below.
To learn more about Ngugi, watch this interview of him.