Yale University awarded Ngugi wa Thiong’o an honorary degree last month during its 316th graduation ceremony.
This news really warms our hearts. Ngugi is an award winning writer. He is no stranger to accolades. He has earned countless number of them in his 50-year career as a writer. But when you’ve achieved as much as Ngugi has, you literally can never get too much recognition for your work. It would take generations to fully take into account what Ngugi has done for global literature and political activism.
Ngugi was awarded the degree alongside American politician John Kerry, American musician Stevie Wonder, American Congressman John R. Lewis, and four others.
Here is the tribute given by Yale University’s president Peter Salovey before presenting Ngugi with the degree of Doctor of Letters:
Author, playwright, activist, and scholar, you have shown us the power of words to change the world. You have written in English and in your Kenyan language, Gĩkũyũ; you have worked in prison cells and in exile; and you have survived assassination attempts — all to bring attention to the plight of ordinary people in Kenya and around the world. Brave wordsmith, for breaking down barriers, for showing us the potential of literature to incite change and promote justice, for helping us decolonize our minds and open them to new ideas, we are privileged to award you this degree of Doctor of Letters.
Ngugi shared the moment with his family. His son and fellow novelist Mukoma wa Ngugi was there with is daughter and his wife. Ngugi’s wife was also present at the event.
Congrats to Ngugi and family!
Here are photos from the event