This gentleman is a celebrated Kenyan author in the class of people like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Okot p'Bitek, and Peter Abrahams. The guys listed are peers of more popular western writers like Ernest Hemingway.
What I find most interesting about this guy is that in 1970 he decided to only write fiction in his native language of Gikuyu. However, he then translates the work into English, which makes no sense to me. He should allow others to do the translation since he is only concerned about preserving and disseminating his Gikuyu.
He was a professor of English in Kenya who campaigned for the abolishing of the English Language Department on the grounds that colonialism had made Africans disdain our own culture and to view its worth only as measured by western standards. I have seen many arguments for a reduction in the prominence given to English in non English and formerly colonized countries. I think the arguments are a fine example of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. The point of a language is to communicate. Thus, the language that enables more communication with more people is obviously a better one. People who say that all language are equally valid are not being rational. I think the only reason Ngugi would take such a stance is because he is being enabled by the people he is castigating; because he lives in the US and works there as a teacher of English and so has the luxury to luxuriate in a philosophical cocoon. He was imprisoned for criticizing the government in Kenya and he fled the country afterwards. I respect that more than any veneration of African culture just because it is African.
He has written many celebrated works but I have only read 2 - "Weep not Child" and "The Upright Revolution". The Upright Revolution is supposedly the most translated African work. I liked the first but not the second.