A Grain of Wheat Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

A Grain of Wheat

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A Grain of Wheat Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Part IV

Chapter Fourteen Summary

Kenya gained independence on December 12, 1963. Lights around the country were put out at midnight while the British flag was lowered; when the lights came on, the new flag of Kenya was flying. After a long night of pouring rain, the people gather again in the morning for the Uhuru celebration. Traditional dances and athletic competitions are held in Thabai to commemorate the event. Then there is an unscheduled event, which promised to be very exciting – a three-mile race for anyone, old or young, male or female. Both Gikonyo and Karanja compete while Mumbi watches from the crowd. She has sent Karanja a warning note, asking him to stay away from the celebration, but he has misinterpreted it as a sign of interest from Mumbi.

Mumbi is weighted down by the knowledge of what Mugo told her about his role in Kihika’s death. She tries to convince the others that Mugo should not participate in the ceremony, and tries to warn Karanja away because she does not want anyone else to be hurt because of her brother’s death.

Close to the finish of the race, Gikonyo and Karanja collide. Gikonyo ends up with a broken arm, and Mumbi rushes to make sure he is okay. Karanja feels the full force of her snub for him as he watches the attention she pays to her husband.

In the afternoon, the crowd gathers to hear the Uhuru speeches. Gikonyo and Mumbi are in the hospital and not able to attend. A tree has been planted in the spot where Kihika died, to celebrate his life. The crowd is excited at the chance to hear Mugo speak; his refusal has been seen as modesty, and he has truly achieved a hero’s status. After some Party speeches and prayers, General R. takes the stage and calls for the man who betrayed Kihika to come forward. But the person who comes forward is not Kihika; it is Mugo. He confesses what he had done, and says that the secret had been eating away at his life.


Karanja’s childhood was spent with his mother,…

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