Embrace Joy with the Poem 'I Want You To Know' by Kenyan Poet Micere Mugo

Embrace Joy with the Poem 'I Want You To Know' by Kenyan Poet Micere Mugo

Thursday, 22 June, 2023

Kenyan woman of letters Micere Mugo is a dynamo. She’s a writer of poems, plays, and literary criticism. She was the first woman in Kenya to become a college dean. She’s an activist who was exiled from her homeland. And still, she leads with empathy, kindness, and a belief that men and women are equals.

This poem is infused with tenderness, joy, and a feeling of communion that celebrates this moment right now.


I Want You to Know — Micere Githae Mugo

  • I want you to know
  • how carefully
  • I watered the tender shoots
  • you planted
  • in my little garden.

  • Flowers now adorn the ground
  • the fruits are ripe
  • Come
  • bring a strongly woven basket
  • and bring with you also
  • the finest palm wine
  • that your expert tapping
  • can brew
  • we must feast and wine
  • till the small hours
  • of our short days together

  • Joy and love
  • shall be our daily
  • harvest songs.

Interview with the Poet

In this video, Micere Mugo talks about her childhood in Kenya and the lessons her parents instilled in her. If you want to get fired up about how to be your best self, click play.

About Micere Githae Mugo

Micere Githae Mugo is a professor, playwright, poet, author, activist, and literary critic from Kenya. She is an Emerita Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University. In 1980, she became the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nairobi — the first woman in Kenya to be a dean. Her political activism against human rights abuses — by former Kenyan president Moi’s government — forced her exile to Zimbabwe 9ni 1982. She’s worked from abroad ever since and said, ‘I’m a child of the universe, I have lived in almost all continents.’ She’s the author of 15 books, including the play The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, co-written with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and two poetry collections: Daughter of My People, Sing! and My Mother’s Song and Other Poems. The East African Standard Century listed her among “The Top 100: They Influenced Kenya Most During the 20th Century.”

Top image courtesy of Imani Manyara/Unsplash.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

There are so many things to see and do in Kenya. Yes, you can go on a safari. (Glamping, anyone?) You can also meet the Maasai in a traditional village and stroll narrow lanes in the romantic coastal city of Mombasa.
Get ready to fall in love with Kenya's otherworldly beauty, majestic wildlife, and welcoming culture. You can visit a Maasai village, cruise on a white-sailed ship at sunset, and relive epic adventures of the past.
Poetry can cut to the heart of an issue like no other art form. It's both personal and universal, a way to shine a light on issues and how we relate to each other. Here are two works from Nigerian poets that we love.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.