The Black Hermit by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o –Online Rehearsed Reading + Q&A

21 March 2021

Throughout 2021, Utopia Theatre will be hosting a series of Rehearsed Readings from some of the best playwrights from Africa and the African Diaspora. Last month was 'And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses' by Zakes Mda. 

This month, we present The Black Hermit by Kenyan playwright, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, which will be livestreamed on 21 March 2021 at 6pm, via Zoom.

Directed by Mojisola Elufowoju.

The cast includes Helen Adenike Osabutey; Tatenda Naomi Matsvai; Caleb Obediah; Baker Mukasa; Laurie Ogden; Tayo Aluko; Ayo Oyebade; Tonderai Munyevu; Theo Ogundipe; Peter Olorunisomo and Kemi Coker.

The Black Hermit is the story of a young man, Remi, who is the first of his tribe to attend university. Amidst the backdrop of a politically torn country, Remi himself is torn between his sense of tribalism and nationalism. This struggle runs deep, as he finds it at the heart of his afflictions between himself, his marriage and familial relations, and his greater sense of obligations to his people and the country. The overwhelming nature of these problems drives him into isolation as a black hermit.

CEO and Artistic Director, Mojisola Elufowoju FRSA, said: Until last summer when we studied this play as part of the African classics series on Utopia Theatre’s Creative Hub  I had only known Ngugi wa Thiong’o as a novelist, having read his novel Petals of Blood at Univeristy. I was interested in hearing what he has to say as a playwright as I know he has strong Afrocentric views that align with my own. This play doesn’t disappoint as we witness the destiny of a man torn between tradition and the promising lights of modernity.

This was the first play by Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, a writer and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children's literature. He is the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mũtĩiri. His short story The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, is translated into 94 languages from around the world.

The event will be hosted by Jennifer Farmer.

Streaming online Sunday, March 21st 2021 at 6 pm. Book tickets here.