Kenya was declared a colony by the British in 1920 but was actually a so-called protectorate since 1895. From the very beginning the British had difficulties occupying this vast country in Africa that had millions of acres of prime fertile land. As a matter of fact the first commissioner of British East Africa, Arthur Hardringe, stated at one point that “These people must learn submission by bullets.”
So from time to time there were revolts and insurrections, but the most memorable ones were that of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA), better known as the Mau Mau, lead by Dedan Kimathi Waciuri. This resistance group was seen as terrorists by the acting government. And like our Jamaican National hero, Paul Bogle, Dedan was finally caught and hanged and placed in an unmarked grave in 1957. Today he is revered as Kenya’s national hero.
The struggle continued with Jomo Kenyatta who took up the mantle to liberate Kenya. In 1953, Kenyatta, better known as “The Burning Spear,” from whom the reggae legend Winston Rodney, took his name, was sentenced to 7 years in prison accused of being the leader of the Mau Mau. This trial, where he was accused along with 5 others called the “Kapenguria Six” created a lot of media interest at that time. Kenyatta was released in 1959 and went on to be the first Prime Minister and President Kenya in 1963.
May I say thanks to the efforts of the Kenyan people, in particular those from the Kikuyu tribe, Dedan Kimathi and the original Burning Spear himself, who we recognise as the “Founding Father of Kenya” to make all this possible.
“Radical to the bone”…….. Born Fe Rebel.