Kingue began her presentation with a reading from the language in which she wrote her book in, French. Kingue deliberately opened this way to demonstrate, just like Wa-Thiong’o says, that “we can can only capture our true essence in our mother tongues”.

As I sat listening to the fluidity of the excerpt in French, and the way in which Kingue read her work with such expression and emotion, I understood why Kingue felt it was important that the audience hear her work in the language she originally wrote the words. I think it all comes down to the idea of authenticity and what it means to be authentic. Kingue said that writing was her only means of being able to be who she really was and a way for her to communicate her emotions. Because French is a part of Kingue’s identity, because French is her mother tongue, listening to her read that particular language, I think, really brought to life the true significance of what it means to be authentic in terms of language and identity.

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