The Kikuyu and Kamba People of Kenya Essay

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When the British colonised Kenya, they claimed the fertile highlands that belonged to the Kikuyu and Kamba people who were the main group of agriculturists in central Kenya and allocated it to white settlers. The Kikuyus were not compensated for the land that they lost and were not allowed to lease or buy back their land. The British government did nothing but make empty promises to the people. (Bailey, 1993). This made them bitter and led to the creation of groups such as the Mau Mau and the Kenya African Union (KAU) which were supported by the general population of Kenya as they strived to get a settlement for the grievances of the people and to enable them to have political rights which was one of the major grievances. These grievances were over land; the Kipande (a system of identification and a registration document) and political rights. The forcing of taxes and labour were an important basis for the rise of African nationalism.
Other tribal groups including the Nandi in the Nyando Valley, the Kipsigis, Luhya and the Gusii also offered resistance against colonial rule. Expeditions were organised against them and they were all subdued and some of their leaders were exiled. (Bailey, 1993) With most of the tribes resisting British rule, they needed someone to bring them together so that they could fight against British rule together. This person was Jomo Kenyatta and with his influence amongst the people, he was able to unite the country to fight against colonial rule.…