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Born James Ngugi, Ngugi wa Thiong'o was born in Kamiriithu, Kenya. He was the fifth child of his father's third wife. At the time of his birth, Kenya was under British rule. During his school years Ngugi became a devout Christian, but still studied the native traditions of his ethnic group (the Gikuyu).
Professionally Ngugi has been employed as a teacher, novelist, essayist, and playwright. Ngugi is known mostly for his writing. "The transition from colonialism to postcoloniality and the crisis of modernity has been a central issues in a great deal of Ngugi's writings."
Some of his written material are:
- The Black Hermit, 1963 (play)
- Weep Not, Child, 1964
- A Grain of Wheat, 1967
- Petals of Blood, 1977
- Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary, 1981
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