Your future lies between the hard covers, Ngugi told me

Prof Ngugi wa Thiong'o and author Dr Peter Kimani at the University of Houston in November 2014. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The new system placed great emphasis on practical skills, but even as educationists experimented with our lives, I was having ideas of my own. I knew I wanted to be a writer soon after joining Form I.
  • My mother wanted me to be a teacher, which was understandable. She dedicated three decades of her life to the Ministry of Education.
  • I took with me Weep Not, Child by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, which I read quickly. It is difficult to re-enact the emotions that the book stirred in me. Having been weaned on a diet of James Hardly Chase thrillers, as well as the Hardy Boys mystery series, the book’s proximity to my own experience left in me awe, and stirred a restlessness that would only be quelled by more reading of Ngugi.
  • I was Ngugi’s host at the University of Houston as he was sitting on my doctoral committee. I rode on his celebrity as the student who brought the world intellectual to Houston. There was a luncheon at the historically black Texas Southern University, where November 11 was declared Ngugi wa Thiong’o Day.

When fishes flew and forests walked


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.