I Will Marry When I Want

ISBN: 0435902466
ISBN 13: 9780435902469
By: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Ngugi wa Mirii

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Africa African Literature Currently Reading Drama Fiction Historical Fiction Play Plays Poetry To Read

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts


Great read! Its the typical struggle between African society and the Western World!


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 true masters who remain english, american and japanese. really thought-provoking! one wonders how different the message would be in the new order of things. maybe we would just add chinese and that is it, hehe!

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 disgusting, living conditions are nothing to speak of, the law and society is controlled by the wealthy, and there is generally no hope for change only continued suffering and enrichment. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.


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.


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.

Jim saddat


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.

Sharon Kamau

This is a book i can relate to. Ngugi wa Thiongo has timeless classics based on such real events!

Antonios Curation

A' Level literature - to re-read

Chipasha Chansa


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