The Perfect Nine

I have posted about a number of Ngugi wa Thiongo's academic books (Decolonizing the MindTheory and Politics of KnowingSomething Torn and New, Moving the Centre, Secure the Base). For those who know him, Ngugi did not start as an academic and most of his work is non-academic – he has authored much more in the way of theatre, poem, and novels. I've not read those works, but am hoping to do so in 2023. I started with The Perfect Nine, translated by the author from Gikuyu in 2020 (original 2018). The book relates the origin story of the Gikuyu, one of the peoples of Kenya (the 'perfect nine' about daughters, who the author points out, offers a version of femininity rooted in self-reliance

Common to foundational narratives as this one is are guiding values that people who identify with the narrative can orient their lives toward. One of the concluding discussions includes: "Look for me in love. Look for me in unity. Look for me among the helping. Look for me among the oppressed. Look for me among the seekers of justice, those who give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty. Look for me among those helping the ailing. Look for me among them without clothes or shelter. Look for me among those building the nation in the name of the human." (p. 227) 

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