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Meja Mwangi's first novel, Kill Me Quick, was written
in 1973.
 This young adult novel displays Mwangi’s talent for writing
lively stories depicting rural youth and societal problems in Kenya. It
narrates the experiences of Meja and Maina, two youths who have come
to the city with the hope of bettering their lives, confident that their high
school diplomas will lead to success. However, they are unable to
compete for jobs in the city and, ultimately, they resort to petty theft
and crime. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw, in her article ‘Half Education Is
Madness!’: Mwangi’s Teenage Characters Battle Poverty in a Post colonial
African City,' states that the novel shows the failure of the educational
curriculum in post colonial Africa. She writes that it is 'a typical story of a
dream deferred. Kill Me Quick was also made into a stage play.

Mwangi’s keen eye for the drama and humor in everyday rural life in
Kenya shines throughout his work.
Striving for the Wind, contrasts a
traditional farmer, who is dependent on oxen for plowing, with a wealthy
neighbor whose imported tractor is incapacitated during a global petrol
crisis.

Other themes that are common to all his works are the difficulties young
educated Kenyans face when trying to return to their rural homes to
apply their learning and the impact of corrupt officials on the lives of the
poor. The novel
The Last Plague, which won Mwangi his third Jomo
Kenyatta Prize for Literature in 2001, offers a seldom-heard African male
perspective on the impact of HIV/AIDS in rural areas. Again, it features a
well-educated, well-meaning young man facing many obstacles as he
tries to set up his veterinary practice in a small, dying town.  Mwangi’s
tremendous concern for the poor and disadvantaged—and his
prescriptions for how they could really be helped—resonate throughout
the novel.

Mwangi continues to be a prolific writer.
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