‘Weep Not, Child’ is a very powerful book by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Published in 1964, it is Ngugi’s first book and one of his most acclaimed ones. The story is about the rise of the independence movement and the effects of colonialism on individuals and families. He has explored the political division created in the Kenyan nation, community and family from the arrival of British colonialist. Ngugi puts forth the idea of education being the foremost requirement for solving Kenya’s problem of colonialism. According to him only education can empower the Kenyan people to decide between right and wrong and help them fight the injustice that has been forced upon them for decades.
Since the beginning of the book the author emphasizes on education to be a very important commodity. The story follows Njoroge, the main character, through his childhood and school years. He is growing up amidst the Mau Mau war and the conflict between the African natives and British colonial rulers. Getting a good education is extremely rare and only a handful lucky ones get a chance to pursue higher studies. Those who get their education are considered intellectual believed to be the ones who will chase the British away. Njoroge, the youngest of four brothers, always wanted to go to school and receive an education. He wanted to provide a good life for his family when he grew up. After he receives the news of him going to school from his mother, Njoroge replies “O mother, I’ll never bring shame to you. Just let me get there, just let me.” (Weep Not Child 3) Njoroge works hard at his studies and does very well in school. All of his brothers and the people in the village see the importance of education and help Njoroge in every way possible.
Even though everyone knew what education could do for the village, the ironic side is that it is being handed down from the British rule, the same people who have colonized his country.
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