MAX PINCKERS – Unhistories – Kenya’s Mau Mau: A Walk Through the Archives


Paul Mwangi Mwenja

When the British came here they treated us like animals. They abused us saying that we Africans are domesticated gibbons and mannequins, that we have all the characteristics of human beings but suffer from academic inferiority. They expelled us from our shambas, our lands, and they settled.

They said we have no capacity of carrying our documents. So they made boxes, they called them “identity box” (kipande), which they told us to hang by our neck. They said we have no pockets or money, so they made coins with holes in them, with a string through them, to tie around our necks. They did the same with dogs. Dogs had their identity tied to their necks. And we Africans, we had our identity tied to our necks. The British were overpowering, pressing and dictating, and ruling very rudely. They took our lands by force, our property, our houses, they took everything and they ruled us very dictatorially until we said that enough is enough. Then we fought for our independence. We didn’t get the reward or compensation to wipe our tears for the land we are fighting for, we still haven’t gotten any.

Our government forgot about us freedom fighters. That is why you see us very thin and poor, living a life that does not fit people like us. I don’t know what we can do for this to reach our president. But I hope that he may remember us before we die.

— Paul Mwangi Mwenja (MMWVA Murang’a Branch Secretary), Murang’a, 2019

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Publish date : 2021-11-25 10:08:46

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