16 June 2018

Africa: Ngugi Wa a Thiong'o Set to Release Latest Gikuyu Book

Photo: Ngugi wa Thiongo
Ngugi wa Thiongo

US-based Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o's latest book is about to roll off the press, East African Educational Publishers, his Nairobi publisher, has said.

The book, Kenda Muiyuru: Rugano rwa Gikuyu na Mumbi, will be published in the original Gikuyu, in keeping with Ngugi's decision to write all his fiction in his mother tongue.

Since he wrote Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986) and Moving the Centre (1993), Ngugi has said that writing in foreign languages is a sign of colonial servitude.

In an exclusive online interview with this writer last Friday, Ngugi said his new book is a rallying call for Africans to celebrate their cultural heritage.

"I'm excited about the possible release of my Gikuyu language epic, Kenda Muiyuru. I would like to encourage Kenyan writers to create epics based on the stories of their communal origins, like Homer did for the Greeks and Virgil for the Romans," Ngugi said from California.

According to East African Educational Publishers CEO Kiarie Kamau, Ngugi's new book will not be immediately translated into English as was the case with the author's latest published novel, Murogi wa Kagoogo, which was written in Gikuyu and the English edition, Wizard of the Crow, released almost immediately after.

"Initially, it will be published by EAEP only, with the option to sell rights to other publishers that we collaborate with in the US, UK, Australia and other parts of the world," said Mr Kamau.

Pressed to give the exact publication date, he said: "Certainly in the next 90 days.

"I do not want to reveal too much, but all I can say is that it's perhaps one of the most experimental creative works that Ngugi has written," Mr Kamau added.

Kenda Muiyuru (a full nine) is often mentioned in reference to the daughters of Gikuyu and Mumbi, the mythical first family that is believed to have given rise to the Gikuyu community.

Ngugi was for the third time tipped by bookmakers to win this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, but the prize was suspended after sex scandal allegations rocked the Swedish academy.


France's Victory With More Blacks Means Africa Can Win World Cup, Says Chukwu

Former Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu, has stated that the fact France won the Russia 2018 World Cup with more… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.