Editorial

CULTURE

Farewell to Micere Mugo, 'seed' of Kenyan poetry

She was the first women's rights activist

01-07-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

Farewell to Micere Mugo, Kenya's greatest poet, who left her homeland yesterday at the age of 80.
A writer and university professor, she was one of the first women's rights activists in Kenya and for her opposition to the country's then-very undemocratic regime, she was arrested in 1982 and lived nine years in exile before returning to the homeland whose humanity, simple life, and sentiments she was able to sing about.
Speaking of her and African folk literature, I wrote, "there is culture everywhere, and where there is culture there is life. Like seeds in the earth, sometimes they are hidden, sometimes we do not notice them at first glance, and sometimes we only step on them. Instead, all we need to do is dig them up with our bare hands, find them and tend them with love. Something wonderful and, on closer inspection, necessary will blossom."

Micere Mugo exemplified these words.

 

I WANT YOU TO KNOW

I want you to know
how carefully
I watered the tender shoots
you planted
in my little garden.

Flowers now adorn the ground
the fruits are ripe
Come
bring a strongly woven basket
and bring with you also
the finest palm wine
that your expert tapping
can brew
we must feast and wine
till the small hours
of our short days together

Joy and love
shall be our daily
harvest songs.

TAGS: poesiamicere mugoscrittoriletteraturaluttoattivista

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