“Reading will end poverty. Free education for all.” ~ Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge, The First Grader
Have you ever wanted something that would change your life that should never have been placed beyond your reach in the first place? Can you imagine for a moment being 84 and not knowing how to read? What would you do? This is the premise for the remarkable film The First Grader, directed by Justin Chadwick and based on a true story.
Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge is an 84 year old veteran Mau Mau freedom fighter who lives in a village in Kenya, Africa. When the Kenyan government declares that it will offer free education for all, Maruge decides that he will finally get the education that was denied him. He decides to go to First Grade at an isolated primary school so that he can learn to read. Once, he fought for his country’s right for freedom from colonialism. Now he will defend his right to learn to read.
When I heard that I was going to be speaking with Justin Chadwick about his movie The First Grader, I was elated. I knew that a movie like this needed to be handled with a sensitivity and an honesty devoid of a loud and ostentatious manner. After seeing the film, I knew that Chadwick had told a story of not only…[Read more…]