Renowned author Micere Mugo dies at age 80

Micere Githae Mugo was a fearless writer, poet, and activist who was hailed a 'Kenyan Literary Heroine' and named one of the top most influential writers in Kenya. [File, Standard]

Renowned playwright, author, and activist Micere Mugo is dead.

Mugo died on Friday, June 30, at the age of 80 after years of battling with cancer as reported by one of her close friends.

She was a professor of literature at Syracuse University and was known for her fierceness in fighting against human rights abuses in Kenya.

Leaders and scholars across the globe have joined Kenyans in mourning Mugo, describing her as an icon who fought for justice and the liberation of Africans.

Micere Mugo in 1995. [File, Standard]

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga shared his condolences on Twitter saying: “Our Comrade, Sister, and Revolutionary, Professor Micere Githae Mugo has joined our ancestors. May she shine in the light of the ancestral abode as she shone on earth with revolutionary light. Her revolutionary Spirit Lives.”

Mugo’s counterpart Ibbo Mandaza also penned his heartfelt tribute describing her as a fighter and an African icon.

“Sad news that one of our luminaries, sister, and comrade in the long struggle for liberation in Africa and the diaspora, Professor Micere Mugo, has succumbed to a protracted fight with cancer. Go well, our darling sister. You live an indelible track record!” he said in a tweet.

Micere Mugo in her office in 1978. [File, Standard]

Lawyer Gitobu Imanyara joined literature students who had the privilege of being taught by Mugo to mourn her demise saying that: “With great shock I have received the sad news of the death of Prof Micere Githae Mugo one of Africa's greatest literary giants. I had the distinct honour of being one of her literature students at Nairobi School in 1972/3 while she was on a sabbatical from McGill University. May her soul rest in eternal peace.”

Mugo wrote over 15 books one of them being My mother’s poem and other songs; she edited several others. 

Her work was generally from a traditional African and feministic perspective which embodied indigenous African traditions.

Prof Micere Mugo during a public lecture at Riara University in June 2015. [File, Standard]

As a thespian, Mugo collaborated with other African writers in editing plays and stories one of them being The Trial of Dedan Kimathi which she collaborated with Ngugi wa Thiongo.

She will be remembered for her boldness in fighting for the human rights of Africans and upholding African culture through her literature.