Mau Mau

Susan' Story, Chapter 2: My Grandfather the Mau Mau

 I vividly recall one of our gukas (Kikuyu name for grandfathers) who visited us once in a while when I was young. My father called him General, General Muriuki Karangi. My mum told us he was Mau Mau. He had these huge brown and dirty looking rastas, he looked very scary. He would tell us these stories of how they fought in the forest. I heard nothing, I would doze off and sleep. I think I was not interested in the stories, I mean I was just a kid. Little did I know that one day I would be here looking for information about the freedom fighters. I did not meet with his wife nor his children. The only thing I knew was that he was my guka from Nyahururu.

Unfortunately, my Mau Mau grandfather passed on a year ago … did he die with his great story? Naaah!!! You see, his wife was also a Mau Mau, Field Marshal Mukami, She is the sister to the renowned Field Marshal Muthoni Wa Kirima (picture attached). Girl power. Yes… there were female Mau Maus... The Mau Mau Maus used the women to gather food, ammunitions and information about the colonialists and take it to them in the forest. The women later decided to join the men in the fight for freedom….. to be continued...

Introducing Our Team

Very recently. Susan, Mary, and Olivia started working together to realise an exhibition about The Mau Mau Emergency. Susan and Mary are both Kenyans, from the Kikuyu tribe, living in Nairobi and both their families have many, many memories of the Mau Mau Emergecy. Olivia is British and based in the UK. Although we are not in the same city, we message every day, sharing our research about the Mau Mau, updating each other on the meetings and conversations we have had, and keeping track of the archival materials and objects that may be valuable for the exhibition. 

In the past few days we have been discussing the role of the British in Kenya, the relationships between the tribes and how that has been affected by the Emergency - particularly in regard to politics - the experiences of Susan's and Mary's families during that time and the impact the history has on the way people in Kenya relate to and interact with each other today. We have also chatted about the weather, our jobs and Susan's boys, who sound hilarious. 

This blog will share updates of our journey together. Because, as Susan said... 'trust me, it is a good journey!.

Susan and Mary visiting Standard Media Group in Nairobi to discuss the exhibition.. 

Susan and Mary visiting Standard Media Group in Nairobi to discuss the exhibition..