Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
"This book, Decolonising the Mind, is my farewell to English as a vehicle for any of my writings. From now on it is Gikuyu and Kiswahili all the way." This declaration by Ngugi wa Thiong'o is one he has every right to make. Many of us, however, will hear it as a casting-off of the large and appreciative readership he enjoyed from the days when, as James Gugi, he instructed and enriched us with The River Between and other fine works of art. To be sure, one can sympathize with any African's hatred of colonization, can feel with him a rage against the West, the whites -- Europeans and Americans -- even when he overgeneralizes and reifies his feelings. One may not agree with him, but one can understand his wish to " hit back." One can also understand his desire to devote himself wholly to writing to and for his own people, to entertain and instruct them in their own language. One can understand these feelings even though one may not share them.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987