Oral literature is the oldest form of literature in Kenya, and oral narratives continue to play an important role in the lives of most Kenyan communities. Written literature - in Swahili and later in English - developed in the early 20th century, when these languages were adopted for use in schools throughout the colony.
However, it was not until independence in 1963 that Kenya began to develop a national body of written literature. Since that time, Kenyan writers have produced literary works such as the in English, Swahili, and various vernacular languages. Kenya’s most famous post-independence writer is novelist and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
Short stories such as the legend legend of luanda magere and liongo fumo have inspired young and old. Poetry is also taking centre-stage with upcoming poets like Caroline Nderitu making a name for themselves.