Aleph
Volume 7, Numéro 4, Pages 329-347

Mugo’s Public Confession As A Purveyor Of Moral Guidance To The Kenyan Community In Its Project Of Building A Post-independence Nation In Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s A Grain Of Wheat

Authors : Chaabane Ali Mohamed .

Abstract

This paper is chiefly intended to examine the ways in which Mugo’s public confession of his national betrayal in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat provides moral guidance to the Kenyan community which is entrusted by the author with the project of building a post-independence nation marked by the end of social stratification. Apart from being motivated by the remembrance of the heroic history of the Mau Mau freedom fighters, this national project could be guided by the individuals’ moral self-examination whose necessity becomes so apparent as a result of Mugo’s confession on the Uhuru day. The idealistic vision of the nation that dominated the Kenyan people’s consciousness during the war of liberation needs to be reinforced by a deep realistic understanding of the extent to which they have so far been morally committed to their nation. More significantly, their external struggle against the coloniser has to be followed by an internal struggle against their moral frailties so that they will be placed in a better position to face the moral challenges that are likely to be raised by their involvement in the establishment of their long-awaited nation. In short, unless they take Mugo as a model as he proves able to redeem himself by sharing his secret story of betraying the nation with his village community, they can hardly take an active part in healing their nation from such social maladies as self-interest or egoism that begin to loom large just after independence.

Keywords

Mugo’s Public Confession, Ngugi’s A Grain of Wheat, Moral Guidance, Redemption, Collective Introspection, Post-Independence Nation Building.