African novel ‘The River Between’ to be unveiled in Tehran

The book has been translated into Persian by the veteran journalist and TV host Ali-Abar Rashidi and released by Noon Publishing. Rashidi will attend the event along with Ali Salami who will make a speech about the book.

A young man called Waiyaki is a focal point in Ngugi’s story. At an early age, Waiyaki was already considered to have special gifts. He once encountered two boys fighting and attempted to break up the squabble. Although he was the youngest of the three, he was able to put a stop to the violence. Ngugi reveals that the three boys, Waiyaki, Kamau and Kinuthia, are all destined to study at a local mission school nearby and, from there, to become teachers.

Waiyaki is eventually enrolled at the school at the behest of his father, Chege. He explains to young Waiyaki the legend of a savior who would be born into their village and accomplish great things for his people. Waiyaki’s father believes that he is that savior. Although Waiyaki is skeptical of such a fantastical prophesy, he excels in the school and is well on his way to playing a vital role in the development of his people.

The significance of Chege’s eagerness to send Waiyaki to the mission school rests on the fact that the boy would be in a position to learn the wisdom of the colonists. This knowledge would equip Waiyaki for the struggle against the colonial government. Despite the liberating potential of this knowledge, Waiyaki must ensure he does not embrace the colonial system, as doing so would defeat the purpose of his training….

Thiong’o is also a playwright, and essayist whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Irvine, California.

Source: IBNA