Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong' o's Decolonizing the Mind, from "The Language of African Literature" it a poignant essay about how English, when imposed on another culture, invades the "mental universe of the colonized" (871). He discusses the fabled Hare, who is a trickster in African Mythology, and who serves as an icon of cunning over brutality. Contemporary readers will note that the Hare icon was also front and center in Jorden Peele's "US," as the hope against brutal oppressors transcends to all those who were held down by "the magic formula of colonial elitedom" (870). At its heart, colonialism is "the destruction or the deliberate undervaluing of a peoples culture" (871). Why would anyone do this? Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o's is clear "the real aim of colonialism was to control the people's wealth" (871).
Even more insidious is how it controlled "how people perceived themselves" (871). When Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong' o's was a boy, he "was given an ovation" (869) for his "composition in Gĩkũyũ" (869). Then his school was taken over by the English regime and the English language the only acceptable one. He had to "bow before it in deference" (869). Imagine being a talented boy who now in his own country is not allowed to participate in the language of his people, by people who are striping natural resources from his land. Kenya became a world where "the abnormal is viewed as normal and normal is viewed as abnormal" (871). Imagine going into someone's home claiming it's yours and then demanding they live by your arbitrary rules, it is arrogant, controlling, and tyrannical.
It is no wonder that Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong' o returned to his native language as a writer and felt he had to break up with English. English was a gaslighting and abusive lover who insisted on "the domination of a peoples language" (871) and ultimately, "the domination of the mental universe" (871). The wholesale rejection of that which is abusing you is the first step towards freedom, and after independence, comes the liberation of others. He states, "I want them to transcend colonial alienation" (872) and "do for our languages" (872) what other famous writers did for theirs.