I Will Marry When I Want

Introduction

Ngaahika Ndeenda, (I Will Marry When I Want), is a controversial play that covers post-colonial themes of class struggle, poverty, gender, culture, religion, modernity vs. tradition, and marriage and family[1].

The play was written by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Ngugi wa Mirii and first performed in Kenya in 1977 at Kamiriithu Educational and Cultural Center.[2]

Set in post-independence Kenya, the play is a searing look at the legacies of colonialism and the difficulties Kenyans faced at the time. It was performed at Kamiriithu for six continuous weeks before it was shut down by the government.

Both playwrights were arrested and detained in December 1977. They were released in December 1978, and fled into exile shortly after. Ngugi wa Mirii fled to Zimbabwe, while Ngugi wa Thiong'o fled to the UK, and then to the United States.


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