Mau Mau Fighter, Museum to Shed Light on Colonial Abuses

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[Kenya\Mau Mau]
Mau Mau veteran Gitu Wa Kahengeri: “I was beaten the whole day until I did not feel pain any longer.”
Photo: YouTube

Kenyan Mau Mau veteran Gitu Wa Kahengeri has lived to tell his story about fighting British colonialism.

Nearing 100, Gitu Wa Kahengeri clearly remembers the day when, as a prisoner of Kenya’s colonial occupier Britain, he wanted to die.

“I was beaten the whole day until I did not feel pain any longer,” he said, of one episode of abuse during the seven years he spent in the camps that the British ran in the decade before Kenyan independence in 1963.

The camps, where tens of thousands are thought to have died, are a traumatic but largely forgotten part of Kenya’s past.

They were set up to jail activists and sympathisers during the Mau Mau uprising of 1952-1960, in which Kahengeri, born in the 1920s and a Secretary General of the independence movement’s Veterans Association, participated.

Using eye-witness accounts, documents and field visits, Kenyan and British historians from the Museum of British Colonialism are now building an online archive of the period, complete with 3D recreations of some of the camps.

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