• A Kenyan theater project established in 1976 at Limuru by workers,peasants, and university staff to stage controversial plays aboutclass and exploitation. Although it was closed down by the Kenyanauthorities, this democratic experiment served as an inspiration tomany African writers and artists.

    The first Kamiriithu performance, put on in an open-airtheater built voluntarily by the local people, was Ngaahika Ndeenda(I'll Marry When I Want), which attacked the ruling classesfor exploiting the workers and promoting foreign interests. The productionwas described by the Sunday Nation in Nairobi as "a playof the people...for the people, by the people". Withinseven weeks, however, the play was banned and the project's leader,Ngugi wa Thiong'o, was arrested and imprisoned. After his releasea year later he returned to help the community produce Maitu Njugira(Mother Sing to Me), a play about the early resistance to colonialdomination. The government closed the community centre, razed theopen-air theater, and banned further performances of the play (althoughthousands of people turned out to see 'rehearsals' at the Universityof Nairobi).