Distinguished playwright, poet, and activist Micere Mugo, known for her contributions to literature and her revolutionary spirit, passed away on Friday morning at the age of 81. Leaders and admirers from around the world expressed their condolences on social media.
Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga hailed Mugo as a revolutionary leader in the struggle for Kenya’s independence, describing her as a comrade, sister, and revolutionary. Mugo’s notable works include “My Mother’s Poem and Other Songs” and “Songs and Poems.”
Born in 1942 in Baricho, Kirinyaga County, Mugo became one of the nation’s most renowned literary critics and literature professors. She taught at various institutions, including Syracuse University in the United States and universities in Zimbabwe.
Mugo faced persecution during the Daniel Arap Moi dictatorship in the 1980s, which forced her into exile from Kenya due to her activism. Despite the challenges she encountered, Mugo continued to excel in her academic pursuits. She attended Alliance Girls High School for her primary education, Makerere University for her Bachelor of Arts degree, the University of New Brunswick in Canada for her Master’s degree, and the University of Toronto for her PhD.
In addition to her academic achievements, Mugo made significant contributions to her community. She founded and served as President of the Pan African Community of Central New York, initiating volunteer programs in two prisons. She also held consultancy roles and served as the chairperson of the board of directors of the Southern Africa Regional Institute for Policy Studies (SARIPS) in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Throughout her career, Mugo received numerous international accolades, including the Marcus Garvey Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for writing and publication, and the Human Rights Award from the Onondaga County Human Rights Commission.
Micere Mugo’s passing marks the end of an era for literature, activism, and the fight for independence. Her contributions and indomitable spirit will be remembered and cherished by future generations.