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Interesting Facts about Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye; Google Doodle celebrates the 94th birthday of the mother of Kenyan literature



Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye 94th Birthday Google Doodle

Google Doodle celebrates the 94th birthday of British-born novelist and poet Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye, who came to be known as the mother of Kenyan literature, on October 21, 2022. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye.

Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye
Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye

Here is a look at the life and work of Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye.

Who was Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye?


  • Birth name: Marjorie Phyllis King
  • Birth date: 21 October 1928
  • Birthplace: Southampton, England, UK
  • Died on: 1 December 2015 (aged 87)
  • Death place: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Known as: Writer
  • Nationality: British
  • Citizenship: Kenyan
  • Father name: Richard King
  • Mother name: Phyllis
  • Spouse: Daniel Oludhe Macgoye
  • Education: Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Notable works:
    • Coming to Birth
    • The Present Moment
    • Murder in Majengo
  • Notable awards: Sinclair Prize

15 Interesting Facts about Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye

  1. Marjorie Phyllis King was born on 21 October 1928 in Southampton, England, to Phyllis (née Woolcott) and Richard King. She was born in Southampton, England, yet moved to Kenya soon after Kenya became independent. She was a poet, novelist, and missionary bookseller.
  2. Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye completed her secondary education in 1945. She studied English at the Royal Holloway College, University of London for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  3. Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye worked at Foyles bookshop in London in the wake of graduating from college. She got a master’s in English from Birkbeck College, University of London 8 years later.
  4. Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye moved to Kenya because of a job application to the Church Missionary Society (CMS) which prompted a job offer of running a CMS bookshop in Nairobi. She moved to Kenya in 1954 to sell books and became a citizen in 1964.
  5. After immigrating to Kenya, Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye started pursuing a career of being an author. At first, she published stories in magazines. As her prosperity developed, she began writing works of longer length. In mid-1970, her novels and poetry were being published.
  6. Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye frequently took part in literacy projects for Africans.
  7. She would frequently give out Christian literature to female prisoners at Remand Prison in Nairobi. There she met Daniel Oludhe Macgoye, who is a medical officer who worked there. The couple wedded in 1960 and soon moved to Alupe Leprosy Mission hospital, close to the border separating Kenya and Uganda.
  8. In the latter half of the 1960s, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye taught in Kisumu. She started to take part in the Luo community because of her husband’s family and she started to learn the language, history, traditions, and culture of the Luo community, The Luo community even named her the “mother of Gem”.
  9. Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye became a naturalized Kenyan citizen in 1954. In 1971, she and her children moved from Kenya for a job running the university library in Tanzania, while her husband remained behind.
  10. She became the manager of the SJ Moore Bookshop in 1975. She ran literary readings and workshops for some Kenyan and east African writers.

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  1. In 1983, Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye changed her concentration to writing. During this timeframe, she stayed focused on social activism in numerous ways, like taking part in national debates.
  2. In 1983, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye completely changed her concentration to writing. She composed poems, novels, children’s books, magazine stories, scholarly essays, and historical articles about life in Kenya.
  3. Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye’s most remarkable works include Murder for Majengo (1972), The Present Moment (1987), and Coming to Birth (1986) — the latter won the Sinclair Prize for fiction.
  4. Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye has won awards for the vast majority of her works, for example, Growing Up at Lina School, and Murder in Majengo, however, her most outstanding novel is Coming to Birth. Her award-winning novels depict the life of a Kenyan woman during the time period 1956-1978.
  5. On October 21, 2022, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Marjorie Phyllis Oludhe Macgoye’s 94th Birthday. Mixed-medium Google Doodle artwork pictures Macgoye next to her books, surrounded by Kenyan views and the women that inspired her.
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