Robtel Neajai Pailey and Melvin Kadiri Barrolle

Squatting in a maximum security prison cell in Kenya in the 1970’s, Kenyan essayist, activist, scholar and teacher Ngugi wa Thiong’o [pronounced Goo-gi-wa-Tion-go] penned his very first novel on toilet paper.

It was written in Gikuyu, a language he grew up seeing, tasting, feeling, and owning in the hills and valleys of his homeland. Standing no more than 5-foot-5, with graying wisps of hair at the crown of his head, Ngugi is a giant among giants. His frame doesn’t do justice to his more