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I am a writer, yet today when I need them most, I find myself without the words that can adequately express how I feel about the honor that you have bestowed on me today. I am recipient of ten honorary doctorates from top universities in Europe, America, Africa and New Zealand, indeed my own university of California, Irvine, has bestowed on me the University medal, the highest accolade it can give to anybody. I am grateful for all them. But this honor, from KCA, is extra-special. It is honor from home. Not the least of what adds to the grandeur of the moment is the fact that I have received this in the company of my wife, Njeeri, and my children. I wish the entire Thiong’o family were present, but I feel their spirits, the living and those that have passed on. You see, I come from a big family, four mothers, one father, and several siblings. They worked on land, mostly, but in the evening we would gather in any of our mother’s houses, but mostly at Wangarĩ’s, the senior mother, and tell stories. Those that have read my memoir, Dreams in a Time of War, will know how I value those evening sessions; they were formative in my early education and my awareness of the world.
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