segment of the emerging class of African petty bourgeois, the changes of
the 1940s would provide them with a mass base of support among the
peasantry and the urban labourers. The Kamba protest and the
Mombasa strike were previews of what would come later and lead in a
dozen years to a violent confrontation.
Bethwell A. Ogot, "'British administration in the Central Nyanza District of Kenya,
1900-1960'", Journal of African History 4 ( 2), 1963, pp. 261-3; J. M. Lonsdale,
'Political associations in western Kenya', in
A. Mazrui &
R. Rotberg (eds), Protest
and Power in Black Africa, New York: Oxford University Press, 1970, pp. 559-603.
The official description and explanation of the disturbances is found in Public Record
Office, Kew, UK (PRO) CO533/276, Confidential Despatch 67 of 13 March, 1922,
Governor Northey to Secretary of State, W. S. Churchill, and Confidential Despatch
79 of 11 April 1922, Northey to Churchill, both with extensive enclosures. The
African perspective is recorded in C. Rosberg and
J. Nottingham, The Myth of Mau
Mau: Nationalism in Kenya, New York: Praeger, 1966, pp. 47-55.
It took quite some time for Africans in various parts of Kenya to understand that the
Europeans were not just passing through but had come to establish permanent rule
over them. In 1907, for example, a young administrator at a new district post in Kisii
recorded that the Africans 'do not seem to be able to understand that we are going to
stay' (quoted in T. H.R. Cashmore, 'Studies in District Administration in the East
African Protectorate, 1895-1918', Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge University, 1965,
p. 54). It has been argued that 'primary resistance movements' exercised a significant impact on the later appearance of nationalist movements in East Africa ( T. O. Ranger
, 'Connections between "primary resistance movements" and modern mass
nationalism in East and Central Africa', Journal of African History, 9( 3 & 4), 1968,
pp. 437-53, 631-41). For Kenya, at least, this emphasis on continuity tends to
obscure the very real changes in organization, goal and methods represented by the
African political associations that emerged after the First World War.
Lonsdale, 'Political associations', pp. 596, 600-3; PRO/CO533/282, 'Native Affairs
Report of the Chief Native Commissioner' 1921; and, on the mismanagement of the
currency, W. McGregor-Ross, Kenya From Within, (first published 1927) London: Frank Cass, 1968, pp. 199-216.
Indians in Kenya: A Memorandum, Cmd 1922, London: HMSO, 1923, p. 9.
George Bennett, Kenya: A Political History -- the Colonial Period, London: Oxford
University Press, 1963, pp. 54-5; M. R. Dilley, British Policy in Kenya Colony (first
published 1937), London: Frank Cass, 1966, Part III, Ch. II; C. C. Wrigley,
'Kenya: the patterns of economic life, 1902-1945' in
V. Harlow et al. (eds), History of
East Africa, Vol. II, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965, pp. 224-45.
Dilley, British Policy, p. 187.
W. McGregor-Ross, Kenya From Within, p. 450.
On this basis demands addressed to the centre could be turned back with the
explanation 'This is the responsibility of your D.C., do not bother us with it.' The
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Control & Crisis in Colonial Kenya:The Dialectic of Domination.
Contributors: Bruce Berman - Author.
Publisher: James Currey.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 1990.
Page number: 246.
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