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Decolonizing the mind

It was a pleasant surprise to discover Ngugi wa Thiong'o as an essayist, after my first frustration reading his novel Weep not, child. Now I have understood why Thiong'o sounds like a possible Nobel Prize and, above all, I feel solidarity for a writer who defends and understands language as an identity value against colonial and, above all, neo-colonial oppression.

Although I still have doubts that the work of the translator of this book is acurate (I would have liked more to have read the original version in English), Thiong'o's words in this set of essays-lectures demonstrate a very well structured speech during years and that starts from the idea that Africans themselves, and Kenyans in particular, must break the chains that have tied them for more than a hundred years and abandon this subservience to the cultural and ideological values ​​of colonialism. The movement, Thiong'o says, must start in Kenya itself. The liberation and defense of African languages, with all that this entails, will allow the recovery of the African essence.

Thiong'o repeats some of the concepts too much, perhaps because it is more of a compendium of lectures than a book in itself, but there are no contradictions or gaps in a discourse that wants to break a dynamic that is still very difficult to dismantle. The work of educational imposition that colonialism carried out was as hard as it was effective, and now changing means dismantling some values ​​hitherto conceived as good and even runs the risk of being persecuted by local authorities who prefer the neo-colonial system to another that remove the capitalist privileges that so much inequality has imposed.

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