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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.