Ngugi wa Thiong’o in Kenya for writing career fete

Tuesday June 02 2015

Prof Ngugi wa Thiong'o speaks at the University of Bayreuth on May 5, 2014. The renowned writer arrived in Nairobi on June 1, 2015 for two weeks of celebrations to mark 50 years since his first novel was published. PHOTO | COURTESY | PETER KOLB

Renowned writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o arrived in Nairobi on Monday night for two weeks of celebrations to mark 50 years since his first novel was published.

Mr Ngugi, 77, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, published Weep Not, Child in 1964, a year after Kenya attained independence.

“I cannot describe the feeling of coming back home,” Prof Ngugi said. “It is a powerful feeling.”

Tuesday morning, Prof Ngugi is set to meet Cord leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Kamau Kiarie, the CEO of East African Educational Publishers, the house that has published over 40 of Prof Ngugi’s titles, Monday said that they would use the visit to launch some of Prof Ngugi’s recent works, including In the House of the Interpreter, his memoir about his days at Alliance High School.

Prof Ngugi will give a lecture at the school in Kiambu County on Thursday from noon to 4pm.


“He will use the celebrations to inspire and nurture young talent so that they value creative writing and reading of creative works with a view to building a vibrant reading culture,” Mr Kiarie said.

Wednesday, Prof Ngugi will give a lecture at Kenyatta University, starting from 2pm and the University of Nairobi on Thursday next week. He will end with a book signing on Saturday, June 13.

The writer, who has in recent years been perennially listed as a top contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature, will be accompanied by five of his children who are already published authors.

Additional reporting by Otiato Guguyu