Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s ‘Matigari’ To Be Adapted Into A Film

Celebrated writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s popular novel “Matigari” is set for the big screens thanks to Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan.

‘Matigari’ (Survivors), which tells the story of a freedom fighter who emerges from the forest after Kenya gains independence, is a collaboration between Kenyan, South African filmmakers and the Nigerian director.

Afolayan first broke the news at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Rwanda although he did not reveal the Kenyan and South African team he would be working alongside.

“Ngugi is like the Wole Soyinka of Nigeria in Kenya and one of his books is going to be adapted into a film. It’s going to be a South Africa-Kenya-Nigeria co-production and I’m representing Nigeria.” he later shared. 

The novel, produced in 1987, is a moral and political tale in which the protagonist Matigari, a freedom fighter, emerges from the bush in the political dawn of post-Independence Kenya.

He searches for his family and a new future but finds that not much has since changed. The book deals with various themes, including oppression, exploitation, inequality and betrayal.

“Matigari is a satire on the betrayal of human ideals and on the bitter experience of post-independence African society,” Ngugi notes.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 80, is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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