As I have already indicated, both in my earlier book and in the preceding chapters, the Kenya African Union, which started as a constitutional organisation pledged to provide a platform for the airing of genuine grievances and for seeking to persuade the Government to right genuine wrongs through constitutional channels, gradually, for the majority of the Kikuyu tribe, became a cover for Mau Mau activities. In fact, in about 1951, K.A.U. and Mau Mau became synonymous. Branches of K.A.U. whose local leaders were opposed to Mau Mau were either closed down, or the office bearers were dismissed and replaced by others who were willing to toe the line.
If, therefore, we want to study Mau Mau propaganda methods in the period leading up to the declaration of the State of Emergency in October 1952, it is the K.A.U. propaganda machine (in so far as it was directed towards the Kikuyu) that we want to examine. Mau Mau as such and the K.C.A. published nothing, for they were banned, and if they did so would at once attract attention to their underground activity.
The leaders of the Mau Mau movement, who were operating under cover of K.A.U., were quick to realise the very great opportunity which the Kikuyu love of hymn singing offered for propaganda purposes. In the first place propaganda in 'hymn' form and set to well-known tunes would be speedily learned by heart and sung over again and again and thus provide a most effective method of spreading the new ideas. The fact that such 'hymns' would be learned by heart, by those who could read them, and then taught to others, meant that they would soon also