Competing Nationalisms: A Closer Look at Kenyan Nationalisms

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “nationalism”? Do you imagine a movement of people who, united by their distinct culture, language and interests, are seeking separation and political independence from the alien domination?

What if I tell you that (especially when speaking about African nationalism) it is only a partially correct answer?


The decolonization process in Africa is usually portrayed as the victory of black elites’-espoused nationalisms- that is, nationalisms, which promoted the independence of existing colonies. In fact, nationalism is often defined as an anti-colonial ideology that envisions a nation as a political community that by right should be independent from others’ reign.[1] This definition, however, is not encompassing of other African nationalisms, which oftentimes are overlooked by historians of African decolonization.

"People's Atlas of Africa," ed. Marc Leo Felix
“People’s Atlas of Africa,” ed. Marc Leo Felix.
This map reveals the distribution of various ethnic groups on the African continent. Each colour approximately corresponds to the largest ethnic group in that region. Credits: Vox,

It is important to remember that nations are not European inventions since they existed long before European colonization of Africa, and continue to exist after its decolonization.[2] Each nation, which is comprised of an ethnicity, can exist within a state and co-exist alongside other ethnicities (or nations) without any aspirations for an attainment of political independence.

In fact, most nations do not seek to challenge or renounce the legitimacy of the nation-state, and the term ‘ethnicity’ is actually best reserved for those political communities without aspirations to achieve political independence.[3]

Flag of Kenya.
Credits: Britannica,

With this in mind, this blog will explain that since a nationalist is the one who is fighting for freedom and the one who, depending upon his role in society, has his own understanding of what this freedom entails, national leaders who do not seek the creation of an independent nation-state but who are fighting to attain that freedom, regardless of what it entails, should also be considered nationalists.

I will analyze three Kenyan nationalisms during the 1950s- loyalist, moderate and radical nationalisms- and will argue that it is wrong to think of nationalism as an ideology which only aim is the attainment of nation’s sovereignty/independence. Instead, when reading about African decolonization, I will try to encourage you to always think of an idea of competing nationalisms, which encompasses a complicated struggle between ethnic and nation-as-state nationalisms, for a broader understanding of African historical processes of that time.

To illustrate my case in point, I will focus on the Mau Mau Rebellion (1952-1960), as one of the most violent incidents in Kenyan colonial history where multiple nationalisms collided. Since the Rebellion was dominated by the largest Kenyan ethnic group Kikuyu, throughout my blog I will be referring to them the most.

However, before diving too deep into the explanation of competing nationalisms during the Mau Mau Rebellion, it is important to understand some cultural aspects of Kikuyu tribe.


Credits: Leadership Development,

A Kenyan nationalist, like any other nationalist throughout the world, has always been fighting for freedom.[4]

The meaning of the word ‘freedom’, however, is not transparent, since it depends “by what those who use it intend to achieve through its use.”[5]

Do they want to achieve political independence? Or do they want to, instead, attain some item or entity which would grant them more freedom than any geographical separation would have been able to? Or both?

Thus, in order to understand the ‘type’ of freedom and the reason behind one’s attainment of it, it is essential to understand the importance of moral ethnicity.

Credits: The New Inquiry,

Moral ethnicity is basically a code of behavior which leads the conduct of ethnic communities.[6] In other words, moral ethnicity is something that gives tribes their meaning.[7]

In Kikuyu culture, freedom is determined by one’s ability to exercise authority to act and to make resolutions in his/her community.[8] This authority is embodied by wiathi, which is translated from Kikuyu as self-mastery, freedom and independence.[9]

Wiathi relies on two main ingredients:

  • the possession of land
  • hard work[10]

Kikuyu believed that an access to land determined not only a person’s economic position but also his reputational value: “without land, one could not marry and set up a productive household, [and] without a productive household, one could not become an elder within the community.”[11] Being an elder meant being able to exercise authority within own moral community due to material self-sufficiency.

Moreover, the amount of wealth also determined one’s extent of wiathi or freedom: the wealthier the person was, the freer that person was believed to be.[12] Therefore, Kikuyu political elites who possessed the highest extent of wiathi due to their household wealth, have exercised “monopoly of the wealthy.”[13]

However, besides owning the land and being rich, elites also had to legitimize their moral authority through their provision for landless poor the access to land in order for them “to follow the footsteps of their patron towards self-mastery”[14], since freedom was also characterized by the ability to work hard.

Therefore, without land one was unfree since it was impossible to exercise authority by being materially dependent on others.[15]


The Mau Mau Rebellion (1952-1960) was a Kenyan (Kikuyu-dominated) nationalist movement initially aimed at only throwing British colonists off the land.

An example of mechanized harvesting in the 1950s.
Credits: British Towns and Villages,

After World War II the mechanization of farms led white farmers to start considering Kikuyu squatter labor forces as unwanted burdens:

  • by 1948 around one million Africans were displaced from their land into a 2,000-square-miles-area, meanwhile 30,000 whites occupied 12,000 square miles.[16]
  • by 1953, half of the Kikuyu lost rights to their ancestral lands while poverty, unemployment, social and mental disorientation became widespread, causing dissent.[17]

Therefore, the Mau Mau Rebellion became to be known a ‘land movement’– and that was when Mau Mau rebels formed armed squads to challenge the discrimination imposed by the British Crown.


A photo of a female branch of the loyalist auxiliary Home Guard. Majority joined on a voluntary basis.
Credits: Twitter,

It should be pointed out that the colonial government was not the only one guilty of ethnic and economic discrimination of Kikuyu people, since colonialism has always been comprised of an alliance between rulers and ruled.[18]

It was believed by colonial officials that there was a universal and linear process of development from tribalism to modernity- that is, from tribes to universal modern secular societies.

Colonialism, which introduced European ‘modernity’ to Africa, was believed to eventually stimulate “social change by driving people out of the old ‘tribal’ ways of doing things and pulling them into wider social arenas.”[19]

Therefore, nationalism, which was believed to lead to a political independence of a secular nation-state, was thus regarded as the inevitable end product of the impact of colonialism on African tribes.[20]

Colonial states began to regard themselves as “the engines of social transformation”[21] and thus employed paternalistic authoritarianism whereby local black bourgeoisie were to learn how to rule to eventually being given access to rule their national institutions.

This ‘creation of an African political class’ by the Colonial Office was not altruistic, since it enabled Britain to withdraw its responsibility from financing and developing its colonies while still controlling and indirectly running public affairs of its ex-colonies through black elites who were taught to share their colonial leaders’ views.[22]

In fact, since nationalism became to be seen by the British government as an ultimate tool for a successful transition into neo-colonialism, the attachment of African masses to European values of sovereignty and independence could have only been promoted, logically, by Western-educated black bourgeoisie (athomi).[23]


The flag of the KAU (created by Jomo Kenyatta in 1951).
Credits: Wikipedia,

Members of the first anti-colonial Kikuyu-dominated pan-ethnic nationalist party, the Kenya African Union (KAU), which was established in 1944, have accepted the principles of the British version of modernization and nation-building.[24]

Those athomi were educated in world history and the history of British violent suppressions of various armed rebellions at home, and thus they believed that they could secure advantages for their communities only through constitutional legal means and peaceful negotiations with the colonial government.

Therefore, despite the conventional perception that all nationalist politicians are strong opponents of the colonial system and wish to destroy it, this was not the case with many members of the KAU who were ‘inspired’ by progressive Western nations and believed that only through European education one could attain the progressive levels of Western ‘civilizations’[25] as well as the imperial recognition of Kenya as a nation-state.


Jomo Kenyatta (1894-1978). A moderate nationalist.
Credits: Britannica,

Interestingly enough, most KAU leaders, most notably the future Kenyan Prime Minister (1963-1964) and President (1964-1978) Jomo Kenyatta, believed that dignity could only be attained “when whites and blacks recognized the merits of African customs and institutions.”[26]

Kenyatta and other like-minded athomi were referred to as moderate nationalists, since they tried to both:

  • promote progress through (Western) education
  • and to preserve the best African traditions[27] in order to create a new culture that would be modified to withstand the pressure of modern conditions.

Moderate nationalists believed that power naturally belonged to elders, and since the majority of KAU members belonged to that age group, they therefore naturally wanted to retain the traditional hierarchical structure of society which was reinforced by moral ethnicity.[28]

“Facing Mount Kenya” by Jomo Kenyatta.
Credits: Amazon,

This explains why in his most famous anthropological study of the Kikuyu people, the 1938 Facing Mount Kenya, Kenyatta was defending his tribe’s customs (including the traditional custom of female circumcision (clitoridectomy)), hierarchical family, clan and age-grading units.[29]

In 1946, upon his return from Britain after sixteen years away, Kenyatta became a senior elder in the Kikuyu tribe and married “into one of the most powerful lineages of Kikuyuland”[30] as well as bought a massive plot of land and built an impressive mansion with a large library.[31]

Moderate nationalist elders like Kenyatta could have thus exercised moral authority in their community, especially over landless peasants and poverty-stricken workers, since their wealth enabled them to attain the highest extent of wiathi.

Therefore, it is now clear why KAU has made no effort to reverse the British evictions of landless Kikuyus after WWII: due to their possession of the highest extent of wiathi, it was natural for them to promote the perpetuation of their tribes’ moral ethnicity which provided them their power and influence.

In fact, while KAU did send legal objections against white settler farmers to the Colonial Office, their fundamental complaints, however, were aimed not against the system but against the ownership and management of the land by foreigners- land which, they believed, had to owned by them.[32]

Athomi elders did not comprehend young peasants’ struggles and kept arguing of the importance of hard work and moral discipline for the attainment of wiathi.

Landless peasants who were expelled from the white settlers’ estates they used to work on have initially relied the most upon KAU’s help and so they were the most cast down by KAU’s inability (or unwillingness) to protect their rights. Moreover, when many senior clan members and chiefs have also began evicting landless peasants from their land in order to maximize their own profits, the distrust of patrons who repudiated Kikuyu’s moral ties of reciprocity have escalated even further.[33]

Finally, it became clear that, as agents of the Crown and as unsupportive patrons, athomi elders (including the KAU) have completely abdicated their legitimacy of moral authority.

Squatters who were facing landlessness and moral extinction had now a reason to distrust both their white and black patrons…[34]


The Mau Mau Rebellion was therefore seen as  the only path that could lead to wiathi (political authority/freedom)- that is, the only path which would fulfill  Kikuyu’s life with meaning.

By promising their supporters ithaka na wiathi, which is roughly translated as ‘freedom through land’, the insurgents emphasized the cultural importance of wiathi, which makes land conditional to freedom, for the Kikuyu tribesmen.[35]

Therefore, the Mau Mau Rebellion became to be regarded not only as an anti-colonial struggle, but also as a struggle within the Kikuyu community- that is, the intergenerational conflict over the achievement of political authority [36] grounded in wiathi.

Despite the fact that the majority of Mau Mau rebels did not seek political independence as they only fought for wiathi, this does not make them any less nationalist since a nationalist is the one who is fighting for freedom:

  • since Kikuyu’s moral ethnicity equates freedom with land ownership, Mau Mau ‘freedom fighters’ can be rightfully called nationalist.[37]


A woman takes the Mau Mau oath.
Credits: Mau Mau Revolution,

The movement for the ‘freedom through land’ begun in the early 1950s when radical nationalists (Mau Mau insurgents) began spreading the ritual of oathing from their urban centers to rural villages.[38]

The ritual of oathing was traditionally sworn by elders to strengthen a unified tribal identity through the imposition of thahu or a state of spiritual uncleanliness which was aimed to bring about misfortunes upon a transgressor of the oath’s commitments.[39]

Such oathing ritual was thus a very convenient mechanism which was used by Mau Mau insurgents to mobilize the aforementioned desperate illiterate squatters as well as to ensure silence among the general population[40], meanwhile insurgents perpetuated attacks on settler farms and murdered European colonizers.[41]

The widespread reports of these acts of violence, including the murder of loyalist Senior Chief Waruhiu, have stimulated the British Government to declare a State of Emergency in October 1952.[42]


Despite Mau Mau’s initial military successes, the rebellion was brutally suppressed by the British (with a lot of help from ‘loyalist’ and moderate nationalists).

  • While insurgents killed thirty-five settlers, sixty-three British soldiers, three Asians and 524 African loyalists, it is estimated that the British security forces eliminated more than 50,000 Mau Mau insurgents.
British policemen hold Kikuyu at gunpoint while their homes are searched for evidence of their involvement in the Mau Mau Rebellion, 1952.
Credits: South African History Online,

Since the aforementioned state of Emergency did not prevent Mau Mau rebels from murdering more white settlers, the colonial government was forced to tighten its security measures by imprisoning and interning political leaders and rural civilians, who were suspected of being affiliated with the movement, in concentration camps.[43]

An alleged Mau Mau in the detention camp, 1950s.
Credits: Express,

One of the most notorious counter-revolutionary operations led by the British against Mau Mau was called ‘Operation Anvil’, which took place on 24 April 1954:

Suspected Mau Mau ‘freedom fighters’ at a detention camp in Nairobi, 1950s.
Credits: Newsweek,
  • 30,000 Kikuyu were cleared from Nairobi and located in reception camps, where, with the help of loyalist informers, the British screened and detected those “infected with the Mau Mau disease”[44] to be placed in detention (read: concentration) camps.
  • Approximately 80,000 Kikuyus were subjected to rehabilitation under the pretext “that men so psychologically disoriented could not otherwise resume a rational existence.”[45]

Since Nairobi was one of the main centers of Mau Mau radicalism, its occupation by the British made the assistance to insurgents an impossible task.

Dedan Kimathi (1920-1957). A radical nationalist (Mau Mau).
Credits: Imperial and Global Forum,

Dedan Kimathi, who was from the start an oath administrator, was also arrested, however, he was able to bribe a local guard, escape and hide in the Aberdare forest where he later rose to become one of the most prominent leaders of the Mau Mau revolt.[46]

  • On October 21, 1956, Kimathi was arrested by the British forces and hanged in early 1957.[47]
  • Officially, he was believed to be the last captured Mau Mau.


While an improved towns’ security, imprisonments, detentions and villagization of Kikuyu by the British officials have certainly helped to sway the course of the war, there were many other reasons of the Mau Mau defeat.

There are three other very important reasons:

1) MAU MAU SPLIT (Kimathi vs. Mathenge)

  • It should be noted that not all radical nationalists have fought only for the attainment of freedom which revolved around the acquisition of land, since some have also wanted to acquire political independence.
  • Mau Mau Rebellion was, in fact, split along the lines of literacy.
    • For instance, while illiterate General Mathenge has only aimed to attain freedom through land, literate Dedan Kimathi besides wiathi has also wanted to create a counter-state in the forest.[48] Kimathi’s movement was truly anti-colonial.
      • For that purpose, Kimathi has founded the Kenya Defence Council and the Kenya Parliament in order to bring about order, hierarchy and centralization to dispersed Mau Mau forces as well as toured all young fighters (itungati) to present them his motivational speeches about revolutions, state-building and the importance of the bureaucratic recording of the everyday work.[49]
      • Literacy was also regarded to be essential for communication between branches, “with trees serving as postboxes.”[50]
        • Thus, in the forest, Kimathi became to be regarded by his followers as a statesman or the ‘Prime Minister’– “a leader of a new polity of citizens of an ordered, lawful, and progressive society.”[51]
General Stanley Mathenge (1919- disappeared 1955). A radical nationalist (Mau Mau).
Credits: Twitter,
      • On the other hand, Mathenge accused Kimathi of being “poisoned by Christianity and Western education”[52], which made him despise Kikuyu traditions, and of using Mathenge’s unlettered followers for his own selfish ends.
      • Mathenge believed that if their rebellion was successful, educated alone would enjoy privileges, denying them to the uneducated itungati “by whose blood they would have been bought.”[53]
        • Mathenge thus formed his own association- the Kenya Riigi– which emphasized his “constitutional opposition to written orders from officious superiors.”[54]
  • Therefore, the Mau Mau Rebellion was split as Kimathi’s Parliament desired to create an independent nation-state, while Matenge’s Riigi has only focused on the attainment of land.
    • This confrontation has subsequently undermined Kimathi’s leadership of the Mau Mau Rebellion in general.


  • The majority of Kikuyu population has been both loyalist and Mau Mau during different stages of the revolt.[55]
    • Ironically enough, however, the same idea of wiathi that unified Mau Mau supporters has contributed to their defeat later on, since their opponents used the same intellectual tradition to justify their opposition.
      • For instance, the 1950s reform initiated by Governor of Kenya Evelyn Baring enabled loyalism to become the means of self-mastery’s attainment.
        • Since the reform granted free land to those who supported the colonial government, many Mau Mau warriors (especially Mathenge’s branch) were encouraged to turn loyalist.
    • Moral ethnicity thus encouraged more Kikuyu to ‘switch sides’ by becoming loyalists who later turned out to be critical for the counterinsurgency operation, “inflicting 50 percent of Mau Mau casualties by the end of 1954.”[56]


  • Moreover, even those who did not support discriminative British colonial policies at first, have started to be turned off by the revolt’s violence.
    • The growing number of civilian casualties and increasing occurrences of theft incurred by Mau Mau undermined their claims “to hold the moral high ground.”[57]
      • The 1953 massacre which happened in the village of Lari when 600 Mau Mau fighters killed around 100 loyalists, among whom two-thirds were women, caused many to hate insurgents since “the murder of women and children was hard to equate with a fight for land and freedom.”[58]
  • As we can see, moral ethnicity of wiathi was used by loyalists and moderate nationalists against Mau Mau in this case too.
    • Both loyalists and moderate nationalists returned to the ideals of moral ethnicity to remind everyone that to attain wiathi one had to work hard and be disciplined, and that those who grew wealthy through theft and violence had to be shamed and considered criminals.[59]
    • The insurgents’ use of criminality and violence during their ‘land movement’ meant that they were “consuming what they had not worked for without regard for the needs of others”[60] and that they were trying to acquire by force what they had no patience to attain through hard work.
      • Therefore, the insurgents’ rejection of work and their criminality marked them as “delinquents, unqualified and ill-equipped to lead Kikuyu”[61] or even as ‘wild animals’ and ‘hyenas’ due to their preference to steal and scavenge.[62]
  • As insurgents began contradicting the aspirations and motivations of their supporters, loyalism became an alternative path to wiathi.
    • The switch of allegiances was therefore explained by the assessment of which, out of radical, moderate or ‘loyalist’ nationalisms offered the most prospective path towards wiathi.[63]


As we can see now, while loyalist and moderate nationalists have confronted each other about the continuing necessity of African customs, both of them have also confronted some radical nationalists (such as Mathenge) about the latter’s unwillingness to pursue political independence. By proclaiming that nation-states were created by ‘progressive’ colonial nations- that is, modern establishments- loyalists and moderates believed that nationalism a priori could not have been expressed by ‘barbarian’ Mau Mau peasants who seemed to reject modernity for a simple acquisition of land.

On the other hand, literate Mau Mau (such as Kimathi), who did seek political independence and did not want to revert to ‘barbaric tribalism’, have rejected everything ‘Western’ and were against moderate nationalists’ moral authorities which were founded on domestic discipline grounded in wiathi[64]. They questioned how far relations between generations must be reassessed in order to make sure that the younger generation had some freedom and was thus less dominated by its elders.[65]

The conflict between (all) radical and moderate nationalists was thus largely rooted in the intergenerational argument between men who “disputed the elders’ power to decide the rules of honor”[66] and elders who wanted to preserve their traditional authority.

To preserve their traditional influence, moderate nationalists reverted to Kikuyu moral ethnicity by stressing upon the fact that the attainment of wiathi was not only rooted in the land ownership but also in hard work and moral discipline.

For instance, during the KAU’s annual conference in Nairobi on July 6, 1948, Kenyatta emphasized his admiration of hard work as the only ‘tool’ through which Kenyans could achieve independence:

“Africans want freedom to govern themselves. But if we want freedom, we must eschew idleness. Freedom will not come falling from Heaven. We must work, and work hard […]. If we use our hands, we shall be men… I do not want to see any able-bodied man loafing around without work.”[67]

For the same reason he was against the implementation of land distribution- that is, “wanting ‘free things’ that had not been earned by labor”[68]– since he believed that since Kenyans wanted to prosper as a nation, they had to demand equality:“equal pay for equal work.”[69]

The flag of the Kenya African National Union (KANU). The party was founded on May 14th, 1960.
Credits: Historica,

This desire to retain his moral authority therefore explains why Kenyatta, who became independent Kenya’s first Prime Minister in 1963, and his newly-established Kenya African National Union (KANU) have ignored surviving Mau Mau fighters’ demands of land distribution and eviction of loyalists and moderates from lands seized from them.[70]

It also explains why KANU suppressed the history of Mau Mau’s struggles while praising moderate and loyalist nationalists “whose ‘loyalist collaboration’ with Britain had enabled them to become the rulers of a supposedly independent but in reality neo-colonial Kenya.”[71]

Addressing Kenyatta Day rally in Nairobi on 20 October, 1967, Kenyatta proclaimed:

“We all fought for Uhuru [freedom], and its only the cowards who used to hide under beds while others were struggling who go about talking of ‘freedom fighters’[Mau Mau].”[72]

Undoubtedly, this KANU-promoted ‘official nationalism’ has greatly obscured the aforementioned contributions and struggles of Mau Mau ‘freedom fighters’, thus emphasizing upon the continuing cleavage between radical and moderate/loyalist nationalists.


It is important for a historian (or anyone, for that matter) to understand that historical memory can be contradictory in response to today’s changing realities.

For instance, Kimathi was perceived as a guerrilla fighter in the 1950s, “a nationalist in the 1960s and 1970s, an underground subversive in the 1980s, a democrat in the early 1990s, and a victim of anti-Kikuyu persecution in the 2000s.”[73]

Therefore, it is crucial to be critical about historical sources- that is, to study about competing nationalisms which portray not only a state’s official story of nationalism but also various other internal battles which underlaid it.

By understanding all ‘types’ of nationalisms it becomes clear why/how a particular event took place, and can help to eliminate confusion in the future where even “tomorrow’s today will inevitably be different.”[74]

If historians want to understand the past for its own sake instead of its being contextualized to fit modern realities, then competing nationalisms must be taken into account.



[1] Miles Larmer and Baz Lecocq, “Historicising Nationalism in Africa,” Nations and Nationalism 24, no. 4 (October 2018): p. 893-917 ,, 900.

[2] Larmer, Ibid, 896.

[3] Ibid, 896.

[4] E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, “Matunda Ya Uhuru, Fruits of Independence: Seven Theses on Nationalism in Kenya,” in Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration, ed. E.S. Atieno Odhiambo and John Lonsdale (Oxford: James Currey , 2003), p. 37-45, 38.

[5] Fred Hobson, “Freedom as Moral Agency: Wiathi and Mau Mau in Colonial Kenya,” Journal of Eastern African Studies 2, no. 3 (November 2008): p. 456-470 ,, 457.

[6] Daniel Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 3.

[7] John Lonsdale , “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Journal of African Cultural Studies 13, no. 1 (June 2000): pp. 107-124,, 115.

[8] Hobson, Ibid, 464.

[9] Hobson, Ibid, 456.

[10] Hobson, Ibid, 460.

[11] Hobson, Ibid, 459.

[12] Hobson, Ibid, 460.

[13]Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization, Ibid, 132.

[14] Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization, Ibid, 16.

[15]Hobson, Ibid, 159.

[16]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 110.

[17]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 118.

[18]Donald C. Savage, “Kenyatta and the Development of African Nationalism in Kenya,” International Journal 25, no. 3 (1970): p. 518 -537 ,, 532.

[19]Bruce J. Berman, “Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Modernity: The Paradox of Mau Mau,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 25, no. 2 (January 1991): p. 181-206 ,, 187.

[20]Berman, Ibid, 188. 

[21]Berman, Ibid, 187.

[22] Berman, Ibid, 188.

[23] Ibid, 188.

[24]Berman, Ibid, 199.

[25]Savage, Ibid, 533.

[26]Savage, Ibid, 533. 

[27]Ibid, 533. 

[28]Savage, Ibid, 534. 

[29]Jomo Kenyatta, “Initiation of Boys and Girls,” in Facing Mount Kenya: the Tribal Life of the Gikuyu (Vintage Books, 1938), p. 125-148, 125.

[30]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 114. 

[31] Ibid, 114.

[32] Ibid, 114.

[33]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 118.

[34] Ibid, 118.

[35] Hobson, Ibid, 459.

[36]Hobson, Ibid, 460.

[37]Berman, Ibid, 189.

[38]Julie MacArthur, “Introduction: The Trial of Dedan Kimathi,” in Dedan Kimathi on Trial: Colonial Justice and Popular Memory in Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion, ed. Julie MacArthur (Ohio University Press, 2017), pp. 1-35, 6.

[39]Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization, Ibid, 35. 

[40]Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization, Ibid, 2.

[41]MacArthur, Ibid, 6.

[42]Ibid, 6. 

[43]Molefi Kete Asante, “Africa Regains Consciousness in a Pan-African Explosion,” in The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony (New York and London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 259-292, 284.

[44]Keith Kyle, “The Politics of Mau Mau,” in The Politics of the Independence of Kenya (Palgrave, 1999), pp. 45-65, 61.

[45] Ibid, 61.

[46] MacArthur, Ibid, 6.

[47]Asante, Ibid, 284.

[48] MacArthur, Ibid, 6.

[49] MacArthur, Ibid, 7.

[50] John Lonsdale, “Mau Mau’s Debates on Trial,” in Dedan Kimathi on Trial: Colonial Justice and Popular Memory in Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion, ed. Julie MacArthur (Ohio University Press, 2017), p. 258-283, 267

[51] MacArthur, Ibid, 6.

[52] MacArthur, Ibid, 7.

[53]Lonsdale, “Mau Mau’s Debates on Trial,” Ibid, 268.

[54]Ibid, 268.

[55]Branch, Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization, Ibid,14. 

[56]Branch, Ibid, 5.

[57] Branch, Ibid, 137.

[58]Branch, Ibid, 59. 

[59]Branch, Ibid, 133.

[60]Branch, Ibid, 137.

[61] Branch, Ibid, 140.

[62] Branch, Ibid, 142.

[63] Branch, Ibid, 18.

[64]Lonsdale, “Mau Mau’s Debates on Trial,” Ibid, 263.

[65]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 115.

[66]Lonsdale, “KAU’s Cultures: Imaginations of Community and Constructions of Leadership in Kenya after the Second World War,” Ibid, 114.

[67]Jomo Kenyatta, “Annual Conference of KAU,” in Suffering Without Bitterness: The Founding of the Kenya Nation. July 6, 1948.

[68]Daniel Branch, “The Search for the Remains of Dedan Kimathi: the Politics of Death and Memorialization in Post-Colonial Kenya,” Past and Present: Relics and Remains , August 2010, p. 301-320 ,, 307.

[69]  Jomo Kenyatta, “Jomo Kenyatta: The Kenya African Union Is Not the Mau Mau,” (July 26, 1952), 2010/essay_project/kenyattaspeech.htm.

[70]Anaïs Angelo, “Jomo Kenyatta and the Repression of the ‘Last’ Mau Mau Leaders, 1961–1965,” Journal of Eastern African Studies 11, no. 3 (July 2017): p. 442-459,, 444.

[71]Kenyatta, “Jomo Kenyatta: The Kenya African Union Is Not the Mau Mau,”Ibid.

[72]Jomo Kenyatta, “Kenyatta Day,” in Suffering Without Bitterness: The Founding of the Kenya Nation. October 20, 1967.

[73]Branch, “The Search for the Remains of Dedan Kimathi: the Politics of Death and Memorialization in Post-Colonial Kenya,” Ibid, 319. 

[74]Lonsdale, “Mau Mau’s Debates on Trial,” Ibid, 270.

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