The Use of Indigenous Resources in Environmental Conservation in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Murogi wa Kagogo: a religion-cultural perspective
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Ngugi wa Thiong’o in Murogi wa Kagogo (Wizard of the Crow) seeks to reclaim the traditional conservation practices which have been destroyed by colonial modernity by building on the contributions of ancestral pantheons. The article argues that the place of the diviner cum medicine man played a central role in the conservation of the environment because of the physical space he/she inhabited (mostly in shrines located in the forests, which meant that those places were treated with respect and therefore conserved) and also because he/she used various trees as a source of cure for the many ailments that people in the society suffered, trees and other vegetation around forests and hills were spared because of the central role they played in the people’s lives. The role that colonialism and clamor for modernity has played in the destruction of nature is also interrogated. The article concludes that Ngugi’s narrative does not champion for a movement back to the primeval past/traditional past because it is impossible anyway but for an embrace of some of traditional/indigenous practices which were used in preserving forests, water sheds, plant life and soil in order to save the environment from further degradation. In view of this, the article seeks to demonstrate how African ancestral resources are critical in environmental preservation as seen by Ngugi as a creative writer.