Britain's Kenya colony was a by-product of the railway built to link Uganda with the coast. When the railway reached the highlands around and north of Nairobi (5,500 ft.) in 1895, they were found to be fertile and congenial, although lying on the Equator. Europeans settled there to grow coffee, tea, sisal, pyrethrum (for insecticide) and wattles (for tannin); soon there were 3,000 white farmers owning over 10,000 square miles in the reserved 'White Highlands' -- while a million Africans, mainly Kikuyu, lived near by on farms averaging under four acres, and many of them felt tricked out of their rightful lands. The 60,000 whites, and the 170,000 Indians who had followed the railway inland as traders, built up an efficient commercial economy, but at the price of great bitterness. Kenya's fast growing population of over 61/2 million also includes 37,000 Arabs, living on the coast, along which runs a strip about 10 miles wide which technically remains a protectorate, being the former domains of Zanzibar (30).
In 1952 African discontent erupted in the Mau Mau terrorist movement, which was not mastered until 1955, with a cost of nearly 10,000 lives. Its atavistic savagery tended to divert attention from its roots in the grievances of the 13/4 million Kikuyu, the most numerous and enterprising of Kenya's African peoples. Jomo Kenyatta, who was convicted of organizing Mau Mau, imprisoned for seven years and later kept in detention at Lodwar, became the Kenya nationalists' hero. While Mau Mau confirmed many whites in their resistance to political reform, others, chief among them Michael Blundell, pressed for multi-racial progress through the New Kenya Party. But by the time the Africans got their first real legislative representation (on a limited franchise) in the 1957 elections, they were inclined towards nationalist rather than multi-racial politics. In 1958 their leaders rejected an offer of parity in the legislature; in 1960 an African majority there was conceded. In the 1961 elections (on a weighted basis), the Kenya African Nationalist Union (Kanu), and the Kenya African Democratic Union (Kadu) -- led by Ronald Ngala -- won 17 and 13 seats respectively, the New Kenya Party six. Kadu, which got only a third as many votes as Kanu, largely represented smaller tribes' anxiety not to be dominated by the Kikuyu and Luo, who gave Kanu its main backing; Kanu's best known leader, Tom Mboya, was a Luo (C).
After the 1961 elections, a ministry was formed including Ngala and Blundell. Later in 1961 Kenyatta was freed. He was urged by