Atlanta Post Says Ngugi wa Thiong’o Deserves Nobel Prize
The Atlanta Post has published a list of black people who they believe should have been awarded with a Nobel Prize. There are only 12 blacks out of 813 laureates? That’s less than 1.5% of all winners. Kenya’s own Ngugi wa Thiong’o is on the Post’s list for a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Like Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Ngugi lived through colonialism as a child and protested his disillusionment when the promise of decolonization did not pan out. He too has been imprisoned, exiled and attacked for his work as a novelist, playwright, critic and activist. What was different about Ngugi, however, was his brave decision in 1977 to renounce English. He chose to write instead in his native language, Gikuyu. He said he wished to write in a language his mother and ordinary people could understand. Limiting his audience to Gikuyu-speakers was groundbreaking but tantamount to commercial suicide. It constrained his ability to reach world audiences. His stories were infectious however and were swiftly absorbed into Gikuyu culture. His acclaimed 2006 novel is called “Wizard of the Crow.” It starts out with an exploration of the five possible reasons for the illness of the second Ruler of the fictional Free Republic of Aburria. His latest book is a memoir, “Dreams in a Time of War.” In it, Ngugi writes movingly about war and familial relations, including the community of mothers, siblings and a single patriarch. Ngugi is the fifth child of the third of his father’s four wives. Ngugi still has a chance to win the Nobel Prize.
Kudos to Mr. Thiong’o. I hope he receives recognition for his efforts in form of a Nobel Prize in the near future. You can catch up with Ngugi via his website.