Kenya’s Road To Independence Essay

1423 words - 6 pages

In the year 1942, fellows of the Kikuyu, Meru, Kamba, and Embu tribes took an oath of unity and secrecy to fight for independence from British decree. The Mau Mau movement initiated with that oath and Kenya ventured on its relentless journey to National sovereignty. The Mau Mau movement was a militant African nationalist unit that resisted against the British authority and its colonial rule. The Mau Mau members were chiefly made up of Kenya’s largest tribe, Kikuyu. The Kikuyu conducted intense assaults against their colonial leaders. Between the years 1952 and 1956, the British overpowered the Mau Mau over a violent operation of military action. Nevertheless, the Mau Mau Rebellion also convinced the British that social, agrarian and political improvements were essential for Kenya’s future.
Journeying back to year 2000 B C, Cushitic speakers from northern region Africa settled in east Africa, known as the land of Kenya. During the 1st century AD, the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa was chiefly settled by Arab and Persian traders by which Arab and Persian colonies were established. In the first millennium AD, the Nilotic and Bantu speakers migrated into the region and settled inland.
Progressing from a combination of Arabic and Bantu, the Swahili language was developed as a tool for communication for trade amongst different people. When the Portuguese disembarked in the year 1498, the port of Mombasa became a major resupply stop for ships. During the 1600s, the Portuguese started dominating the Islamic religion under the sultan of Oman until another European barricade came along. Followed by the United Kingdom in the 19th century.

The roots of the colonial history of Kenya travels back to the Berlin Conference in 1885, when East Africa was first divided into territories by the European powers. 1n 1895, the British took control of the East African territory and opened the fertile highlands to the white settlers. In 1920, white settlers were allowed a say in the government, whereas the Africans were banned from any direct political participation until the year 1944. During this time, thousands of Indians were sent to Kenya to construct the Uganda Railway Line and consequently settling there.

In 1952, the colonial government declared a state of emergency and arrested many Kenyan independence leaders, including moderates who had little or no connection to the Mau Mau, like Jomo Kenyatta, president of the Kenya African Union. Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya was charged because of the accusation of associating with the Mau Mau and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Dedan Kimathi who was also another freedom fighter was arrested for his position in the Mau Mau rebellion as one of the leaders of the struggle for independence and was later on executed by the British power. Kenya was very unstable from October 1952 to December 1959 due to the Mau Mau uprising towards the British colonial decree, and therefore, thousands of...

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