Why the ‘liberated’ national theatre should fulfil Kenyans’ deferred dreams

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) chats with renowned writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o during the re-opening of Kenya National Theatre on September 4, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • On the National Theatre stage today are President Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta; and Mukami Kimathi, wife of Dedan Kimathi. So this space, this occasion, is pregnant with memories of the past and the promises of tomorrow.
  • The play was going to represent Kenya in the Second World Black and African Festival and Arts and Culture (Festac) held in Nigeria in 1977, and to be fair, the Ministry of Culture of the time, was very supportive.
  • Contrary to the dire predictions of our detractors, for the three days allotted to the play, the theatre was packed by men and women some of whom came from the so-called Africa locations in Nairobi and its environs.

The occasion of re-opening the revamped National Theatre is simultaneously a re-enactment of the spirit of our history but also an enactment of its revival.


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