Ngugi wa Thiong’o and intellectual hypocrisy

Admittedly, I admire this author. However, his ideas are just too infeasible and loaded with tons of hypocrisy and I believe it’s the time this guy retired somewhere and focus on enjoying his retirement.

[li]First, how do you live in the US and then come to lecture us about how we should be proud of our languages? How do you tell Kenyans to be proud of their language while using the English language to say that??? When your wife speaks with a twang?[/li][li]Second, if he’s too much into those kikuyu traditions, he should have long brought his kids here and let them learn in schools somewhere in central Kenya where even English is taught in vernacular.[/li][li]If he is too much into this linguistic utopia, he should open up a kikuyu college and be teaching the kikuyu language.[/li][li]Why the irritating obsession with Mau Mau yet we all know what the group did to fellow kikuyus??? If he is objective, why doesn’t he strongly point out the failings of Mau Mau instead of romantising them??[/li][li]So, he is always singing of how he tried to ‘empower’ peasants through theatre; can he admit he was just using them to develop his reputation? If I am helpless, the last thing I want to hear from you is the nonsense about ‘cultural empowerment’. If you want to liberate me, help me get a job not trying to feed me with some unworkable ideologies!!![/li][li]Why is he against capitalism yet he lives in the US, the very epicentre of global capitalism???[/li][li]So, if we go back to our mother tongues, how will we conduct business with the global community?[/li][li]If a kikuyu writes a novel in the Gikuyu language, how many of them kikuyus will read the book? Today, how many kikuyus have bought Ngugi’s books that are written in Gikuyu???[/li][li]Why is it that this Ngugi only comes to Kenya when he wants to launch a new book?[/li][li]Since, in the 70’s, Ngugi and Co were so obsessed with Marxism and the various strands of communism, why weren’t they sharing their salaries with the peasants that they were supposedly defending from the brutalities of capitalism? Jesus walked the talk through getting crucified for the sake of humanity; how many of these scholars and their tentacles in the name of ‘human rights’ activists are willing to give a cup of water to a dying child when no cameras are present???[/li][/ol]
Realistically, these so called African scholars have lost contact with reality. For hell’s sake, this is the 21st century and, like it or not, English will remain the dominant language of commerce and technology- at least in the foreseeable future.

If we want to do away with everything that’s related to the white man, we should be ready to throw away technology, houses and even clothes so that we can go back to wearing skins. Ngugi should have no problem leading us back to our ‘undiluted past’

What I have noted is that most of African scholars simply want to live in the West then keep on giving us lectures about how African leaders are corrupt and why we need ‘democratic space’ blah blah

Most Kenyans want jobs, security, food, housing and not some lofty ideas about ‘decolonising the mind’ . In any case, if it is about ‘decolonising’ ourselves, it would be much better if the likes of Ngugi preached about decolonising our minds from greed, hatred, jealousy and slander.

I would rather live with a kind, humble and generous person who is mentally ‘colonised’ by the whites and who fakes an American accent than live with a ‘decolonised’ selfish, proud and hateful African who fully professes his African roots.

Personally, I will be more proud of an African scholar who uses his fame to seek scholarships/openings for the bright sons and daughters of his village than the scholar who writes loftily about the need to stick to one’s culture.

Granted, we really need to stop thinking that the white man is superior to us but at the same time we must be ready to ‘steal’ some of his stuff like language and technology in order to empower us.

If Kenya will become industrialised through adopting the English language, then let it be so. We can use the English language and at the same time be fully committed to our last remaining cultural identities but thinking about how a Luhya computer programmer will start thinking of programming in his mother tongue is pure baloney.

If you are scholar, stop advancing your career through pretending that you’re speaking on behalf of the ‘masses’. BTW, who told these scholars/activists that the masses want them to be their spokespersons??? Who told them that Karl Marx want someone to speak on his behalf??



Too long. Can’t summarize?


The guy is no longer young! He doesn’t have the wit and energy he had during the nyayo era. The most he can do now is just talk

I couldn’t have said it better myself!! @karl max

huyu jamaa talks alot of sense shida tu ni vile hakuna summary…nimesoma nusu nyingine nitasoma kesho


Going by the technology the west has conquered…they behave like Aliens Im sure if we had those kind of brains in Africa…we cannot even think about west…

When you say seeking the scholarship for the villagers dont you think you are again begging them…why dont you mobilise the available local resources and help the needy villager.

Too long to read.

hehehe, huyu jamaa ata mimi I agree lives in another planet. I tried reading petals of blood and it just didn’t connect

Dont be too hard on the guy…hes just trying to remain relevant.

FYI, Ngugi wa Thiong’o wrote most of his books in kikuyu. Secondly, Ngugi brought his children to a village school in gatundu north to learn kikuyu. i schooled with some of his children.

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you are as confused. I think his point is to accord the teaching and preservation of local languages the same status as english. Ngugi’s argument is that local languages as motors of peoples’ culture should be preserved. He has never said english should be diregarded. How is language related to technology? That english is the dominant language of commerce and education does not mean you need it to advance technologically. Chinese dont use it, neither japanese nor germans. You can interpret any word into your language. In scandinavia they do it, yet theirs are small languages even than dholuo. How does preserving culture related to throwing away technology, clothes and demolishing houses? You can buy technology, clothes and building materials. These things are sold freely in the market and you can buy whether you speak kikuyu or french.


I believe Ngugi said we can speak/learn English or foreign languages as long as we elevate our African languages to the same level of foreign languages.

N the idea that he shouldn’t have certain opinions just coz he doesn’t live in Kenya is akin to saying a Luo living in Mombasa shouldn’t have an opinion on matters involving Kisumu because he no longer lives there.


@karl marx this is most ignorant piece I have read from you… You are placing some facts out of place.

Point of not Mau Mau did what they did so that we can have and enjoy the freedom we have now. There is a priest in nyeri that wants to martyr some spies and collaborators.

You need a population and a geo political unit like China to achieve what ngugi is talking bout. Read bout the Chinese economy and politics and you know Ngugi is not utopic.

“What I have noted is that most of African scholars simply want to live in the West then keep on giving us lectures about how African leaders are corrupt and why we need ‘democratic space’ blah blah”

Very true. These old school scholars have a way of taking refuge(some political refugees stuff) in the West then come “home” all shriveled up in the white man’s odor; pretending they give an isht about their old African culture. Making us, of the new generation feel guilty we cant speak our own “savage” language.

If he was as good as he makes us think, he would be teaching (for free even) in many universities


Hehe. Hata mimi nimesoma the first quarter, scrolled to the mid nikona bado story inaendelea nikidhani nikumaliza anamaliza.


Some of the kikuyu folks (you too if you are a kiuk) can’t be fluffy and knowledgeable in the language than the guy is.
For his perspective of african tradition elevation I am of the opinion, it’s long overdue.
Sorry I offended the neo colonised ; how do you stand and defend foreign lingua whereas you don’t comprehed the potency in the bowels of the language of your being. Just IDIOTIC!!

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Too much religion can have the same effects of a cheap drink taken in large quantities too often.

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ngugi is right. english shouldbe taught as a foreign language after learning mother tongue and swahili.
he was critical of middle class whose children cannot speak mother tongue and called it mental slavery. look at animal farm which is even in kiswahili and was originally written in russian. language should dialogue and thats why he writes english for those books to be translated to other languages.
concl. we should go back to kitambo where local languages were taught in lower classes and criminalise punishing pupils for speaking mother tongues.