Ngugi wa Thiong’o's Personal and Political Beliefs Through A Grain of Wheat

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Ngugi wa Thiong’o's Personal and Political Beliefs Through A Grain of Wheat Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a Kenyan born writer of Gikuyu descent, born in 1938 in Limuru. He attended Alliance High School in Kenya, Makere University in Uganda, and Leeds University in England. In 1992 Ngugi was honored with the Paul Robeson Award for Artistic Excellence, Political Conscience, and Integrity. He received the Gwendolyn Brooks Center Contributors’ Award for Significant Contribution to the Black Literary Arts in 1994. Currently he is The Erich Remarque Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at New York University. However, before achieving this notability, Ngugi experienced life in a colonized country. This ultimately led…show more content…
The majority of colonial and post-colonial African literature has been written in European languages -- a direct result of colonialism. “For this reason, the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o argues that to rid African literature of the legacy of colonialism, African writers must begin writing in the native languages” (Behrent http://landow.stg.brown.edu/post/poldiscourse/behrent.html). Ngugi felt that this literature could not relate to the majority of Africans who spoke or read a variety of native African languages. Ngugi began writing his novels in his native Gikuyu language so that he could "reach his African audience and to combat the imperialist 'spiritual subjugation' of the African peoples by the means of language” (Behrent http://landow.stg.brown.edu/post/poldiscourse/behrent.html). To Ngugi, the English language was imposed onto Africans as a way for the colonists to erase the pre-colonial history. In most cases, Africans were prohibited from using their native language, and students were humiliated, or even beaten for speaking their native language: “Ngugi points out that language and culture are inseparable, and that therefore the loss of the former results in the loss of the latter” (Margulis http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Ngugi.html). Ngugi focuses on his beliefs concerning colonialism in his

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