“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
Kenya’s struggle for independence was all about self determination and treatment as equals. In light of recent tragic events, we try to explore why we place such a low value on human life as a society.
The Mau Mau Movement employed advance survival tactics similar to those of other highly successful insurgency movements such as the Viet Cong or the FLN of Algeria.
We look back to the golden era of the Kenya National football team. At the 1987 4th All Africa Games, the team overcame low expectations to reach the finals where Kenya narrowly lost to Egypt. In fact, 1987 turned out to be a great year for Kenya Football at both the national and club levels.
Many heralded works of Kenyan literature were written by prisoners-of-conscience who found themselves in trouble with the government-of-the-day for one reason or the other.
A Fulbright Scholar, Prof. ES Atieno Odhiambo authored and edited many Kenyan history and sociology books of consequence that will be read for a long time.
Girdhari Lal Vidyarthi (1907-1985, pictured right) is best remembered as a journalist and newspaperman and printer who fought for press freedom on behalf of native Kenyans against the colonial government.
In the early 1900s the Somali people mounted resistance against the British, Italians and Menelik II of Ethiopia before the Italians and the British partitioned Somaliland for themselves. In the 1940’s local branches of the Somalia Youth League ensured continuous resistance to colonial occupation and rule.
The Rev. Dr. Timothy Njoya recently celebrated his 77th birthday. INFO254 pays tribute to a resilient man who was severally on the receiving end of police batons during the second liberation that ushered in multi-party democracy in Kenya.
Makhan Singh (1913-1973) was a trade unionist who formed Kenya’s first trade union in 1935, the Labour Trade Union of Kenya. He spent a total of 16 years behind bars both in India and Kenya for his political activities against the British.
Loved by his students and hated by criminals in equal measure, Patrick Shaw meted out his form of justice in the streets of Nairobi as a Kenya Police reservist. The debate continues whether this school administrator-by-day and crime-buster-by-night was a hero or a man out of control.
Early and successful resistance to British settlers by the Nandi and Kipsigis led by their Orkoiik including Koitalel Arap Samoei and Kipchomber Arap Koilegei among many others is well documented. We expand our earlier Facebook post exploring further the office of the Orkoiyot (Orkoinotet).
The decisive BATTLE OF ADWA in 1896 (also known as Battle of Adowa) ensured nearly uninterrupted sovereignty for ETHIOPIA. History, preparedness and foresight on the part of Menelik II ensured victory at this historic battle.
Mbatiany Ole Supeet was the legendary Oloiboni the Maasai people who presided this office between 1866 and 1890. This period was the apex of Maasai power and influence with the tribe controlling a large expanse of land spanning through Kenya and Tanzania.
In 1938 the colonial government instituted a plan to reduce the the number of cattle owned by the Kamba community as a soil conservation measure. This did not sit well with the community and led to a successful non-violent rebellion and the formation of UKamba Members Association.
JD Otiende was Kenya’s first Education Minister. An effective administrator, he initiated many flagship public housing projects in Kenya’s major cities and towns.
The aftermath of the Hola massacre was a turning point for British colonial rule due to the negative publicity and outrage it garnered. The British public would no longer be oblivious to the atrocities of colonial rule.
Jaswant Singh Bahraj assisted Mau Mau movement in sourcing materials and building weaponry and providing safe haven for fighters.
OTENYO NYAMATERERE was a Kisii warrior from Kitutu and of the Bogeka clan whose legend of valor against the colonial government is still recited in song and poem by his people.
CMG Argwings Kodhek (1923-1969) was the Kenya’s first African lawyer. Known for providing legal representation to freedom fighters he later became the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Independent Kenya.
For those of us who are products of the 8-4-4 education system, Malkiat Singh’s name is synonymous with 8-4-4 having authored over 100 school textbooks, mainly revision books.
Mekatilili wa Menza (born around 1860-died in 1924) was a Giriama heroine who led her people between 1913-1914 in resisting British occupation and the disruption of their cultural heritage.
Field Marshal Mbaria Kaniu was a highly respected Mau Mau military commander who led a series of successful operations on behalf of the movement.
JEAN-MARIE SERONEY (1927-1982) was the first Kenyan to obtain an undergraduate degree in law (LLB), a brilliant lawyer and politician by all accounts.
FIELD MARSHAL MUTHONI WA KIRIMA (b. 1931;also known as Nyina wa Thonjo) was one of the highest ranking women in the command structure of the Mau Mau movement.
JOE ZUZARTE MURUMBI (1911-1990) was Kenya’s first Minister for Foreign Affairs and the country’s second Vice President, an office he served for a few months between May and November 1966.
ELIJAH MASINDE (d.1987) was the founder and prophet of Dini ya Msambwa and freedom fighter who brought the BaBukusu people together in the struggle for independence.
Pio Gama Pinto (1927-1965) was a Kenyan journalist of Indian and Goan descent and a true Kenya hero who has captured the imagination of Kenyans. He was actively involved in the fight for independence and for equality after Kenya gained its independence.
Field Marshal Musa Mwariama was one of the main Mau Mau leaders. He commanded a highly disciplined and organized army of more than 2000 soldiers that was stationed in the Meru side of Mt. Kenya and the forests of Nyambene Hills.
LUKAS PKECH (d. 1950) was a Pokot spiritual leader and a hero in the early resistance against the British. In 1950 he led Pokot warriors and adherents of Dini ya Msambwa in a deadly confrontation with colonial authorities.