The First Grader: It’s Like Back to School Meets Africa, Only Good
When the Kenyan government institutes a new free-education policy, 84-year-old Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge is ready to learn and enrolls at his local primary school. What sounds like a festival-movie parody—it’s Billy Madison meets Hotel Rwanda!—turns out to be a politically complex, emotionally charged history lesson. Maruge, it turns out, is a former Mau Mau freedom fighter who spent years in prison camps after watching his family be executed. His longing for an education is more nuanced than it may seem. The British empire does not come off well.