Kenyans and Africans in the diaspora to Celebrate Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, at a ceremony to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Kenyans and Africans in the diaspora have rolled out an elaborate event in honor of one of Africa’s literary giants, renowned poet and author Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, at a ceremony to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The one-day showpiece will bring together at least 300 people, from diverse backgrounds, to celebrate and honor Prof. Ngugi will be livestreamed for international audiences across the globe on 22 June 2024. The activities will also include showcasing of Prof. wa Thiong’o’s remarkable contributions and influence in academia and contemporary culture over the decades.

This event is being organized by multiple diaspora organizations, under the auspices of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance-USA (KDA-USA), and includes Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations (AKDO), One Voice Consortium (OVC), and Kenya Studies and Scholars Association (KESSA), among others.

KDA – USA President – Dr. Bernard Marasa – who is the convenor of the organizing committee says the event seeks to recognize and pay tribute to someone whose literary works have inspired millions.

“As a literary icon, Mwalimu Ngugi’s writings have provoked critical questions about the ‘independence’ we won and the bitter fruit it became in the hands of African leaders in a neo-colonialism era,” explains Dr. Marasa, referring to the event concept note.

“Prof. Ngugi has forced us to see, or at least debate, a national and indeed a continental failure to decolonize minds. Words from the barrel of Ngugi’s often-acerbic pen have inspired millions to continue wrestling post-independence ills that crush young dreams,” adds author and medical device manufacturing executive Washington Osiro.

Explaining the importance of honoring Mwalimu Ngugi, Mkawasi Mcharo Hall, a Baltimore-based scholar, writer, and storyteller, avers: “Mwalimu’s “character lives in culturally-identifiable spaces, yet he easily brings it home with global audiences that read and celebrate him, proof that one does not need to abandon their culture to be accepted by others; true to the Swahili adage that mwacha mila ni mtumwa.”

The (public event) will be open to women, men and youth who are passionate about seeking to honor Mwalimu Ngugi and his works. Speakers will include his contemporaries in the literature and scholarly fields as well younger generations who have been inspired by the values he espouses.

“Deliberate outreach will be extended to his alma maters, universities where he has been a professor as well as Mwalimu’s publishers,” explains Dr. Marasa.

“Mwalimu Ngugi is an academic who has graced the corridors of several colleges […] he has received over a dozen honorary degrees from institutions across the globe. He continues to engage, write, and teach as opportunity allows.”

The KDA-USA President says the organizers are open to partnering with different entities and individuals who feel inspired by Prof. Ngugi’s works to make the event “as colorful as it can get.”

“Mwalimu has a rich legacy and has impacted very many people who are to be found in far and wide places, including high places in the corporate and non-profit sector so we are calling on anyone that wishes to partner with us to board the ship so that we honor this legend now,” explains Dr. Marasa.

“So we are reaching out to you to extend an opportunity for partnership with the organizing committee for this historic event. It is our conviction and hope that this event aligns to your strategic corporate-social responsibility mission and objectives in a manner that makes it possible for your esteemed organization to make a meaningful impact amongst the African diaspora community and larger social fabric that has, in one way or another, got inspired by the literary works of Prof. wa Thiong’o.”

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