Charles Njonjo

Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo during an interview at his Westlands office on May 15, 2015. He died on January 2, 2022.

| File | Nation Media Group

Charles Njonjo: The dangers of normalised abnormality

What you need to know:

  • The best example of normalised abnormality is what Charles Njonjo did to Gacamba, the Jua Kali inventor from Nyeri.
  • Njonjo knew the English language so well that he could even speak it “through the nose”, as we used to say of the European settlers.

I have never met Charles Njonjo. But more than the fact he helped shut down Kamĩrĩthũ Community Cultural and Education Centre and led me to Kamĩtĩ Maximum Security Prison, I have always remembered the day in Parliament when he mocked the fact that I had dropped the European name, James, and published books under the African name, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. He mocked those who dropped the good normal Christian names like Charles and adopted ‘Wa’, instead.


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