Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Biography, Age, Early Life, Family, Education, Net Worth And More

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is a Kenyan-born writer and founder/editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mũtĩiri.
His works include novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children's literature and he primarily writes in Gikuyu.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's short story The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, is translated into 90 languages from around the world.
We'd be seeing Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's biography, date of birth, age, early life, family, parents, siblings, wife, children, education, books, net worth, houses, cars, social media handles and everything else you'd love to know about him.
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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Profile

Before we continue, here's a quick run down on Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's profile and a few things you'd love to know about him.
Full name: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Date of birth: 5 January 1938
Age: 82 years
Nationality: Kenyan
Education: Makerere University
Spouse: Njeeri wa Ngugi
Children: Tee Ngũgĩ, Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Nducu wa Ngũgĩ, Wanjiku wa Ngũgĩ
Occupation: Writer
Language: English, Kikuyu
Works: Weep Not, Child (we'll list others below)
Net worth$60 million

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Biography, Date Of Birth, Early Life, Family And Education

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o was born on the 5th of January, 1938 in Kamiriithu, near Limuru in Kiambu district, Kenya. Though originally baptised James Ngugi, Ngũgĩ changed his name to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o after he renounced Christianity, and writing in English Language. He also began to write in his native Gikuyu and Swahili.

Ngũgĩ's family caught up in the Mau Mau Uprising; his mother was tortured at Kamiriithu home guard post while his half-brother Mwangi was actively involved in the Kenya Land and Freedom Army.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o had his secondary education at Alliance High School, before proceeding to the Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda where he received his B.A. in English. While still in the Makerere University College, Ngũgĩ attended the African Writers Conference held at Makerere in June 1962, and his play The Black Hermit premiered as part of the event at The National Theatre.
At the conference, he asked Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe to read the manuscripts of his novels 'The River Between' and 'Weep Not, Child', which would subsequently be published in Heinemann's African Writers Series.

Literary Career

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's debut novel, 'Weep Not, Child' was published in May 1964 by Heinemann publishers, under the Heinemann's African Writers Series. It was the first novel in English to be published by a writer from East Africa.

Later that year, Ngũgĩ travelled to England to study for an MA having won a scholarship to the University of Leeds. In 1965, while at England, his second novel, 'The River Between' came out.

'The River Between' described  an unhappy romance between Christians and non-Christians and was previously on Kenya's national secondary school syllabus.

Imprisonment and Exile

Ngũgĩ in 1976, helped set up the The Kamiriithu Community Education and Cultural Centre which, among other things, organised African Theatre in the area. Following the uncensored political message of his 1977 play 'Ngaahika Ndeenda' (co-written with Ngũgĩ wa Mirii), the then Kenyan Vice-President, Daniel arap Moi ordered his arrest.

While in detention at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, he wrote the first modern novel in Gikuyu, 'Devil on the Cross' (Caitaani mũtharaba-Inĩ), on prison-issued toilet paper.

Ngũgĩ wasn't  reinstated to his job as professor at Nairobi University after being released in December 1978, Ngũgĩ and his family was harassed. In spite of the harassment, Ngũgĩ still continued writing about injustices of the dictatorial government at the time, and he was later forced to go on exile with his family.

He however returned to Kenya in 2002, after Daniel Toroitich arap Moi retired after serving his second and last term. By then, he had already spent 22 years in exile.

Personal Life

While Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California at Irvine, and also the head at its International Centre for Writing and Translation, his wife, Njeeri, is director of the faculty counselling programme.
They have four children, Tee Ngũgĩ, Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Nducu wa Ngũgĩ, and Wanjiku wa Ngũgĩ. His children are all published authors.


We'd be listing out some Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's novels, plays, short story collections and essays.


• Weep Not, Child 
• The River Between
• A Grain of Wheat
• Petals of Blood
• Caitaani Mutharaba-Ini
• Matigari ma Njiruungi
• Mũrogi wa Kagogo


• The Black Hermit (1963)
• This Time Tomorrow
• The Trial of Dedan Kimathi
• Ngaahika Ndeenda: Ithaako ria ngerekano

Short story collections

• A Meeting in the Dark
• Secret Lives, and Other Stories


• Homecoming: Essays on African and Caribbean Literature, Culture, and Politics
• Writers in Politics: Essays
• Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
• Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedom
• Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams: The Performance of Literature and Power in Post-Colonial Africa


Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has gotten a good number of awards, some of them include:
• Lotus Prize for Literature (1973)
• Nonino International Prize for Literature (2001)
• In 2012, he was Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize
• In 2012, he won the National Book Critics Circle Award (finalist Autobiography) for In the House of the Interpreter
• In 2014, he won the Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award
 for Philosophical Literature
• Park Kyong-ni Prize (2016)
• Grand Prix des mécènes of the GPLA 2018, for his entire body of work

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Net Worth

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is one of the most successful Kenyan writers, his works include novels, plays, short stories, and essays. According to CelebstTrendNow.com, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has an estimated net worth of $60 million.

Social Media Handles

You can connect with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o on:
Facebook: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Official website: NgugiWaThiongo.com

What's more? Thanks a lot for reading along. Don't forget to drop us a comment and share to your friends.
Before you leave, also check out A.H. Mohammed's biography and net worth. A.H. Mohammed is best known for his 2013 novel, 'Last Days At Forcados High School'.
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