Tahidi High's Miss Morgan Shines in Historic Play

  • Kenyan actor Angel Waruinge.
    Kenyan actor Angel Waruinge.
  • Angel Waruinge, popularly identified as Miss Morgan from Citizen TV's Tahidi High show, has joined a stellar cast in the reprisal of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's play titled 'I Will Marry When I Want.'

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, May 16, Waruinge noted that she was honoured to join the play since its historic staging (at the Kenya National Theater for the first time) comes during the country's political year.

    Since its opening on Thursday, May 12, the play, which cast other stars like Bilal Mwaura, Veronica Waceke, Nice Githinji and Martin Githinji, has appealed to moviegoers and seen the auditorium packed to capacity in the first four days of its staging.

    Waruinge, who plays the character of Jezebel in the play, revealed that she was privileged to be included in the play that has brings to life the country's deep-rooted history.

    A photo of Ngugi wa Thiong'o in a library
    Prolific Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o in a library

    "Everyone in the cast we have all worked together before in different productions, so our chemistry is better and that is why we were able to work well.

    "I just felt honoured because it is a true story, it was banned and we get to be the first people to stage it at the Kenya National Theater after over 45 years," she stated.

    She further noted that the play had attracted considerable buzz in the country and abroad, with requests coming in for it to be staged in other counties and countries.

    She further noted that before its official opening, the crew and cast had worked on the project for two months.

    "Other counties like Nakuru are interested. Diaspora is also talking about it and wants to watch so we don't know where it is going to lead us.

    "We are doing the play both in Kikuyu and English, so getting the Kikuyu accent and the proverbs right and just being believable to deliver the story we want to tell, and switching to English and try not to dilute the message we are supposed to put out," she added.

    Authored in the 1970's, the play attracted the attention of the then Jomo Kenyatta-led government as it addressed the wealth distribution across the country.

    The book tells the story of a man known as Kigunda and his wife who were told to sell their parcel of land to a tycoon who represented capitalistic culture.

    A play that had been set up for the book in Central was shut down and Ngugi wa Thiong'o sentenced to a year in jail.

    "It is a story told from a personal point by Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Ngugi wa Mirii. It was written in the '70s and when it was written, it was banned and ended up putting Ngugi wa Thiong'o in maximum prison for over a year and made the late Ngugi wa Mirii exiled to Zimbabwe.

    "It touches on the haves and the have-nots and I feel it is coming out at the right time... It is a story that is so relatable because it is still what we are going through right now. It comes at the right time because it is a political year," she explained.

    Waruinge, who looks up to John Sibi-Okimu (known globally for his role in The Constant Gardener), now hopes that the production can get funding to expand its horizons after generating considerable interest.

    The play is directed by Stuart Nash, the Award winning best director of Sarafina as well as the head of Nairobi Performing Arts Studio(NPAS).

    Kenyan actor Angel Waruinge.
    Kenyan actor Angel Waruinge.