Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Will Marry When I Want” as Want to Read:
I Will Marry When I Want
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Will Marry When I Want

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This is the renowned play which was developed with Kikuyu actors at the Kamiriithu Cultural Centre at Limuru. It proved so powerful, especially in its use of song, that it was banned and was probably one of the factors leading to Ngugi's detention without trial. The original Gikuyu edition went to three printings in the first three months of publication.
Paperback, 122 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Heinemann Educational Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Blood River by Tim ButcherThings Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieChasing the Devil by Tim Butcher
1,290 books — 1,326 voters
When We Were Very Young by A.A. MilneWhen the Emperor Was Divine by Julie OtsukaWhen Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith KerrWhen the Wind Blows by Raymond BriggsWhen Broken Glass Floats by Chanrithy Him
"When" in Titles
166 books — 12 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mwanamali Mari
Ngugi wa Thiong'o and his co-writer Ngugi wa Mirii are men who have a way with words that is unrivalled and incomparable. And with statements like "A man must brag about his penis no matter how tiny". I mean, come on


Tiny penises aside, the saying is stated by our main character, Kiguunda, one of my favourite fuckers ever in Kenyan post colonial literature. He had been admiring his title deed for his one and a half acre piece of land and his wife, Wangeci, had been trying to get him to fix a brok
Mwangi Mugo
Aug 18, 2009 Mwangi Mugo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in understanding post-colonial kenya
Ngûgî is good. now i understand why the play was banned. the message is in short: we fought for the liberation of our nation, to get back our land, but then what happened in 1963? the oppressors, land grabbers changed color from white to black, period. most of the aspirations of the freedom fighters were perverted by the newly found imperialish ex-homeguards. they put on the bequeathed religious cloak to hide their true wolf-in-sheepskin selves. sadly for them, they remain just watchdogs for the ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Betsy rated it really liked it
This was the play Ngugi wa Thiongo was imprisoned for writing and performing. It does a good job showing the conflict between families who get ahead and those who aren't able to due to their positions. I would think about teaching this with A Raisin in the Sun - interesting parallel possibilities.
Kesh Gitari
Feb 02, 2017 Kesh Gitari rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
It's crazy how relevant this book written in 1982 is to 2017 Kenya. An impoverished country clung to religion and alcohol. The snare of loans and living beyond our means. The political 'wokeness' that does nothing beyond orate, the Kioi's of the world benefiting from the ignorance and suffering of the Kiguunda's of the world, the woes of the impoverished laborer, the naive young girl and the rich boy who ruined her life in search of the admiration of strangers. It's absolutely crazy that this li ...more
Brian Chando
Jan 18, 2017 Brian Chando rated it liked it
3 star not because its not that good, but i just don't prefer 'plays'
Varyanne Sika
Mar 12, 2013 Varyanne Sika rated it it was ok
Shelves: african-books, plays
This play is, according to some historians, one of the factors that lead to Ngugi wa Thiongo's detention without trial.

The play is a Marxist one and doesn't hold any punches. Subtlety was a foreign word during those post independence times and understandably so.
There is palpable anger and bitterness throughout the play towards the capitalist system inherited by businessmen and political leaders from colonialists. Missionaries and their Christianity are not spared.

Land is stolen, wages are disgus
Jul 06, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it
Interesting play that targets not just the oft-used theme of the problems of Western colonialism in Africa but how there is a compliance of indigenous people to assist foreign interests (post-colonially) in continuing to stratify the African people to reduced hierarchal roles. Heavy Marxist arguments and call for revolution against the capitalistic rich.
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
While there are intriguing aspects to this play, I feel it's message is thrust upon the audience rather than being developed subtly. I know that's inherent to literature engagee, but it doesn't really do much for me.
Mar 15, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it
Thiong'o is perhaps the most well-known Kikuyu author. This well-written play was my first from him to read. It impressively covered a wide array of prescient issues to life in Kenya: marriage, Christianity, corruption, Mau Mau, poverty, foreign investment, etc. An important read!
Nicole Gervasio
Jan 05, 2013 Nicole Gervasio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: african-drama
Smart and uplifting. Perhaps it's not the most feminist play in the world, but it very movingly portrays one Kenyan family's moral dissolution in the aftermath of colonial liberation. It also hopefully and thoughtfully examines the nostalgia felt for lost cultural traditions and national identity.
Sarath Krishnan
Mar 03, 2015 Sarath Krishnan rated it really liked it
It seems Ngugi has a clear-cut answer to the problems of African society, but how far his tools will be of use to Africa, which no one can tell. Fundamentalism, whether it is by whites or blacks, will not be successful. Fundamentalist Marxism (or Orthodox Marxism)will not be helpful either...
Antonios Curation
Jul 25, 2013 Antonios Curation rated it liked it
A' Level literature - to re-read
Jim saddat
Feb 13, 2009 Jim saddat rated it it was ok
Cynthia Kauffmann
Jan 27, 2016 Cynthia Kauffmann rated it really liked it
doesn't make me very proud of Christianity. represents what not to do.
Chitra Aiyar
Chitra Aiyar rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2007
Daniel Haumschild
Daniel Haumschild rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2011
Karradyne rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2013
maria rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2009
Asmae Asebriy
Asmae Asebriy rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2014
Okundi O.
Okundi O. rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2017
Madelyn rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2014
Richard rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2009
Natasha rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2017
Erin Deathstar
Erin Deathstar rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2011
Amine Amine
Amine Amine rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2016
0718006056 rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2016
Kitiyo Eshter
Kitiyo Eshter rated it it was ok
Nov 10, 2016
Mrudula Bhavani
Mrudula Bhavani rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2013
Raymond Ndou
Raymond Ndou rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
use of songs as a stylistic device 1 4 Dec 13, 2014 01:45AM  
relevance 1 3 Aug 10, 2013 01:57AM  
  • The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales
  • In the Fog of the Seasons' End
  • Mine Boy
  • The Return of the Water Spirit
  • A Cowrie of Hope
  • Death and the King's Horseman: A Play
  • The Purple Violet of Oshaantu
  • Arrows of Rain
  • Efuru
  • God's Bits of Wood
  • The Girl Who Can (African Writers Series)
  • The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
  • Ambiguous Adventure
  • Mission to Kala
  • Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories
  • Les Soleils des indépendances
  • Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol
  • The Trouble with Nigeria
Kenyan teacher, novelist, essayist, and playwright, whose works function as an important link between the pioneers of African writing and the younger generation of postcolonial writers. After imprisonment in 1978, Ngũgĩ abandoned using English as the primary language of his work in favor of Gikuyu, his native tongue. The transition from colonialism to postcoloniality and the crisis of modernity ha ...more
More about Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o...

Share This Book

“If poverty was to be sold three cents today, i can't buy it.” 24 likes
More quotes…