Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Start Your Free Trial

Discuss how The Trial of Dedan Kimathi is an attempt to rewrite official history.

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In outlining the nature of the drama, Ngugi wa Thiang'o asserts that his primary purpose in The Trial of Dedan Kimathi is to reconfigure historical understanding.  Ngugi concedes that recreating official history is not a primary concern in the construction of his work:

The play is not a reproduction of the "farcical" trial at Nyeri.  It is rather an imaginative recreation and interpretation of the collective will of the Kenyan peasants and workers in their refusal to break under sixty years of colonial torture and ruthless oppression by the British ruling classes and their continued determination to resist exploitation, oppression, and new forms of enslavement.

Such a statement shows how the play is an attempt to rewrite official history. The official history speaks of Kimathi as a terrorist against those in the position of power....

(The entire section contains 409 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial