I Will Marry When I Want
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I Will Marry When I Want

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  10 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, 128 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Heinemann Educational Books
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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.
Varyanne Sika
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...more
Apr 11, 2010 Mugo rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Nicole Gervasio
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.
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!
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.
Sharon Kamau
This is a book i can relate to. Ngugi wa Thiongo has timeless classics based on such real events!
Jul 11, 2012 Beth78 added it
Great read! Its the typical struggle between African society and the Western World!
Antonios Curation
A' Level literature - to re-read
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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
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