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Ngugi wa Thiong'o is recognized by critics as having a broad foundation in English literature and drama. Originally, when he was know as James Ngugi, he was praised by critics as one of the top dramatic minds of the contemporary era and was awarded several East African literary prizes. His activism and strong public stance for democratic socialist reform have led to critics not receiving his work as well as formerly. His insistence on writing and producing performances of his work in the Gikuyu language and oral tradition have left some critics disinterested though his work does thereby reach the masses in East Africa.
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