Kenya And East African Solidarity Essay

1999 words - 8 pages

Kenya has been a symbol of East African solidarity, as they gained a reluctant sovereignty after years of ram shaking batter with colonialist Britain. Many factors contributed to the gaining of Kenyan independence in December 1963, using both aggressive and passive styles of rebellion they rebuked colonial autocracy and gained their independence.

During the 19th Century numerous European countries begun to take an active interest in African countries, Kenya and much of East Africa was soon swept under British mandate. At the Berlin conference of 1885 Kenya was bestowed to Great Britain. By 1895 the British government managed to set up “The East African Protectorate” paving the path for white farmers who were interested in Kenyan fertile lands, even before the official ratification in 1920 making Kenya a British colony. The white settlers created a euro-supremacy where the Asian and African communities were omitted from any form of political participation. With the later establishment of “The Imperial British East African Company” granting them governing powers as well as protective ones over Kenya. Kenya was theirs. With the increasing introduction of British ‘puppet chiefs’ e.g. William Ochieng (Middleton, 157) and extraction of old traditional ones, British presences in Kenya resulted in the escalation of a cultural Decline.
The British begun to carve the land, fencing out many of the native communities from their homelands forcing them to the arid dry land surrounding modern day rift valley (Middleton, 158). British authorities of Kenya divided this country up into independent districts separating the British from the natives, they were here to establish a clear difference of rights between the British and the Natives. They took land to create large 'white' plantations for themselves in some cases, the British also forced the Africans to live and work on their plantations (Middleton, 159). Ultimately, the sour treatment of the British provoked African nationalism sparking solidarity between the bitter peoples, leading to the fusion of Kenyan tribes and minor pan African organizations (mainly kikuyu) to form the Mau Mau.
The Mau Mau name origin becomes confusing to illuminate due to the duality of responses; 1st being an abbreviation for “Mzungu Arudi Ulaya, Mwafirika pate Uhuru” Kiswahili for “Let the White man go back to Europe and the African regain Independence” whist the 2nd theory suggests the name was adopted from the mountainous region bordering the Rift Valley. (Roseberg, Carl G.)
Towards post-Second World war era resentment towards oppression begun to disseminate. One by one, African countries demanded self-rule (Barbra). John Maina Kahihu from the Mau Mau's political wing said, "In 1942 we had fought for the British. But when we came home from the war, they gave us nothing."(Barbra)

Between the years of 1951-60 the people of Kenya bravely fought back against their oppressors under the leadership of Jomo Kenyatta, Deden Rastaman...

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