Posted in book review, humour, Kenyan Literature, my library, politics, reading, religion

I will marry when I want


 I shall marry when I want

Since all padres are still alive

I shall marry when I want

Since all nuns are still alive

I shall marry when I want

This is a play portraying the pre and post colonial periods. Names of characters in this book go hand in hand with their behavior. For instances Kiguunda the main character means a farmer and he owns a one and a half acre land with its title deed hanged in his poor structured house. He keeps staring at it like a found treasure. Ahab Kinoru means a well endowed person with a fat belly. This son of a gun is known for preaching water and taking wine. He owns everything but most from oppressing the poor. Kinyanjui wa Munyui is a drunk character who let’s the cheap liqour take control and burst the truth out like marrying when he wants and no woman can make his world any harder. Jezebel even in the Bible was a hell of a cunning woman and here she eyes Kiguunda’s land and convinces Kinoru to snatch it away. (Talk of Naboth’s Vineyard)

Other characters include Wangechi (Kiguunda’s wife), Gicamba and his wife Njooki who are  Kigunda’s besties since they also poor like him, Samuel the nouveau riche farmer and wife Hellen who are Kinoru’s partners in crime alias preaching mates. Ikuua wa Nditika is Kinoru’s dubious business partner who sees unto it that he provides the Kiguundas with the loan and take their land as security.

The book clearly brings out the religious aspect where the poor believe it was the missionaries who introduced religion and should therefore not be converted and be Westernized. It is here that Kinoru pays Kiguunda and wifey a visit convincing them to repent of their sins and have a church wedding. Despite having all traditional ceremonials he is urged to have a wedding with his land as collateral to get a loan to fund it.

What spurs  next is the believe that their daughter Gathoni is in love with Kinoru’s son and so they must marry to open doors for them but this hunch is not the case. The woman is once again seen pressuring her husband to acept the offer (Remember Adam and Eve?). They get a loan, pimp their house to a modern one, get all the expensive things they would ever think of while Gathoni and her lover go to Mombasa. It is here that she falls pregnant and comes back crying in the middle of her parent’s wedding. It is declared she is a whore who got pregnated by someone else and not Kinoru’s son doing. They  therefore cannot marry and this smell of deceit makes Kiguunda storm his enemy’s home armed with a panga. Jezebel on the other hand takes her gun and misses shooting Kiguunda after a heated confrontation. Kiguunda now becomes like Munyui always drinking his betrayal out.

Normalcy returns to Kiguunda’s homestead with no luxuries but a poor hut and no title deed hanged on the wall. It is all back to scene one.

There are songs used here that showcase freedom  from oppression , religious hymns, flashbacks to narrate a past event and dances depict the various tunes and styles danced back then by our forefathers (Mwomboko, Mucungwa). As a reader you surely want to jiggle to the beat. Proverbs, phrases, idioms and all that hard hidden talk makes you want to laugh while at the same time crack your head up for the meanings. My favourite though…wait for it (PG 18)….a man must brag about his penis no matter how tiny.

This is one book that had its play banned as it was against the government ruling although from reading it, shots were well fired and Ngugi deserved  a trophy rather than a one year detention.

The turnouts here are very much present in our society where capitalism, bad governance, deceit, betrayal and using religion for the wrong reasons are what makes our community revolve.

Am not going to do the spoiler alert  but I think this book should be in the high school set books category. Moreso, the play should come back to our theatres. What do you think?

PS: It was originally written in Kikuyu dialect and would die to have that copy in my hands. Ngahika ndenda.

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Author:

Living my life, exploring it, yearning more of it and learning from it.

12 thoughts on “I will marry when I want

                  1. Well, most Catholics don’t do what their church says. Plus they can do all they want between Monday and Friday, go for confession on Saturday morning and church the following day and they will be pure as snow 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

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