Somaliland Sun- The Chairman of the Kulmiye Central Committee, Jama Shabeel, is light skinned and probably has racist mentality. He recently branded the Kikuyu people as savage people who once believed that their “ agricultural lands “ would be physically transferred to U.K if they enter an agreement with the British Colony . Mr Shabeel was honestly trying to defend Somaliland Government’s agreement with Dubai DPW, and as such, he categorized the opposition as “ savage kikuyu”. On behalf of the Somaliland public, I apologize for those irresponsible statements. Meanwhile, I will shed light on the heroic struggle of the Kikuyu people against colonial settlers in much the same way as we fought against the domination of Southern Somalis led by Siyad Barre ruthless regime.
are the largest ethnic group in Kenya
. Until the arrival of Europeans, the Kikuyu preserved geographic and political power. During the colonial period, European settlers obtained for themselves a disproportionate share in land ownership. Through a series of expropriations, the colony’s government seized about 7,000,000 acres ,some of it in the especially fertile hilly regions of Central
and Rift Valley Provinces
, areas later known as the White Highlands
due to the exclusively European farmland.
The land expropriation became an increasingly bitter point of contention. The colonial government and White farmers wanted cheap labor which, for a period, the government acquired from native Kenyans through force. Confiscating the land itself helped to create a pool of wage laborers
, and the colony introduced measures that forced more native Kenyans to submit to wage labor- the establishment of reserves for each ethnic group, the discouragement of native Kenyans’ growing cash crops; and the exemption of wage laborers from forced labor and other compulsory, detested tasks such as conscription.
Against this back drop, a key watershed came from 1952 to 1956, during the Kikuyu Mau Mau Uprising
, an armed local movement directed principally against the colonial government and the European settlers. It was the largest and most successful such
movement in British Africa. The protest was supported almost exclusively by the Kikuyu. The British killed over 12,000
Kikuyu militants. To support its military campaign of counter-insurgency the colonial government embarked on agrarian reforms that stripped white settlers of many of their former protections. For example, Africans were for the first time allowed to grow coffee, the major cash crop. Thuku was one of the first Kikuyu to win a coffee license, and in 1959 he became the first African board member of the Kenya Planters Coffee Union.
Just like Jama Shabeel, the colonial view saw Mau Mau as savage, violent, and depraved tribal cult, an expression of unrestrained emotion rather than reason. British psychological warfare painted Mau Mau as an irrational force of evil, dominated by bestial impulses and influenced by
Contrary to British propaganda and Jama Shabeels racist views , the Mau Mau attacks were mostly well organized and planned. Over 8 years ,Kenya became one of the most brutal battlegrounds of the end of the British Empire. The uprising is regarded as one of the most significant steps towards a Kenya free from British rule and white domination.
Drs Hoodo Yusuf, UK, London.