~Statue of Dedan Kimathi, MauMau fighter~
“Colonialism. The enforced spread of the rule of reason. But who is going to spread it among the colonizers?”
― Anthony Burgess
Colonialism. It just never leaves my mind. It is said that the mere purpose was to teach the natives English, proper etiquette and book keeping and we all know that it isn’t rue. I still don’t get their cruelty to the people in the land. I get that colonialism had positive and negative effect but to beat someone so bad just because you are developing their world doesn’t make sense at all.
My great grandmother tells tales of when we were being colonized. She worked at a settlers farm. It is heart breaking. First they grabbed lands and forced the natives to move to squatters.They were beaten and paid poorly and forced to pay taxes to the ‘Bwana’. If you happened to oppose them, they would come for your family at night. Ransack the whole house and maybe even take the man of the house. If you are lucky they return to you but in bad shape, bruised and wounded and if you are unlucky like most others, your husband may never come back to you at all.
The girls were raped and mistreated and others got pregnant. They gave birth to biracial kids who were hated by the others since it represented the sins of the mother. But only the mothers could understand to love a child who is a result of pain and suffering. The ones who tried to fight were rounded up and put in cells and if you got away you had to live in exile. With it came education and alas they were able to defeat them. Aha, Independence at last. Sweet victory, but for the common man and woman it was just freedom from slavery. The home guards loyal to the colonizers took home big houses and grabbed lands. I guess freedom isn’t freedom after all.
And after everything, we were free and we still struggle to build and rebuild the broken homes and hearts and a developed nation. Even though we may never get justice we pray that our independence justifies us. I am so glad it is over.