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Thiong’o's memories of a time of war

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thiongoNgugi wa Thiong’o had been hesitant to write his memoirs, but wanted to give his children a wake up call about what life was like when you had to walk miles to school - not to mention being a political prisoner.

A giant of African literature, he has never been afraid to challenge the establishment. Yet while he recounts his time in prison with humour today, he has never moved back to Kenya full time since going into exile nearly 30 years ago despite being one of the country’s best-known writers. 

Thiong’o was imprisoned without charge in December 1977 after peasants and workers performed his play “Ngaahika Ndeenda”,  which criticised inequalities in Kenyan society.

Thiong’o went into exile in 1982 and only returned in 2004, when he and his wife were assaulted in what he maintains was a politically motivated attack.

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