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.

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