African History 6: Religious Fanaticism vs. Institutionalized Terror
With names like Mau Mau and Kikuyu, you might think this was a fun video about cats. But it's not. It's very not. Today's lesson is on the terrible conflicts surrounding the decolonization of Kenya.
|World History||African History|
rights and privileges.
And then their relatives wouldn’t vote for whoever it was that…threw their colonial [Man in an arena with a lion]
kin to the lions.
Of course, a growing number of natives didn’t give a hoot about all that business.
With more and more African states becoming free, they wanted their land back, and they
wanted it now.
First, the native Kenyans tried peaceful negotiations. [Kenya and British negotiating]
When the Brits said…
“No way”…some Kenyans said…
“Guess we’ll do this the hard way”…
Several rebel groups formed, but the most powerful and ruthless was called the Mau Mau. [Mau May group with rifles]
Sounds more like a tropical dance than a group of ruthless killers, but okay.
The Mau Mau were unified by the native religious beliefs of the Kikuyo, the dominant
ethnic group in Kenya.
Like the Xhosa in South Africa, the Mau Mau wanted to hit Britain where it [Mau Mau soldier hits Britain]
No, not there.
They struck at white property, killing or stealing white-owned cattle herds. [Mau Mau tribe stealing cattle herds]
It’s hard out there for a cow…
The violence spread from cows to people in late 1952, when Mau Mau fighters killed a
white woman defending her home. [Mau Mau soldier shoots woman]
Even fellow Africans began to feel the wrath of the Mau Mau, after they assassinated two
white-sympathetic, native politicians.
Things got bloodier and bloodier over the years as the Mau Mau tortured and murdered
other Kenyans who said no thanks to joining the rebellion, or were seen as lovers of the [Mau Mau rebels killing Kenyans]
To fight back, the Brits forced Kenyan civilians into what they called “protected villages”…
which were basically concentration camps.
These places were full of fun stuff like systematic torture, and disease that was spread by unsanitary [Kenyan child eating unsanitary food]
So your average ordinary Kenyan was stuck in a terrible position.
They could help the Mau Mau and run the risk of being tortured and murdered in a British
Or they could refuse to help the Mau Mau and risk being tortured and murdered, uh…in [Kenyan in the middle between two Mau Mau soldiers]
the comfort of their own homes.
No way around it…back then, it sucked to be Kenyan.
At long last, in 1961, the Mau Mau was defeated.
But back in Britain, public opinion had changed. [Mau Mau fighters waving white flag]
British voters were scared of another, bloodier war in Kenya, and they were like…enough
In 1964, Kenya finally became independent.
So even though the Mau Mau lost, they also… kinda won.
Yeah, history is complicated like that.
The legacy of the Mau Mau still affects Kenyan politics today. [Politicians thinking of Mau Mau rebels]
Many non-Kikuyu Kenyans blame the Kikuyu for the radical, bloody Mau Mau.
Non-Kikuyus also aren’t cool with the amount of power the Kikuyu claimed through force
The bad blood has erupted into violent outbreaks over the years, most recently in 2009. [People protesting in 2009 in Kenya]
It’s just another example of how colonialism keeps on damaging a country even after it’s [Colonialism banging Kenya with a hammer]
It’s like an unwelcome guest who eats everything in your fridge and then wonders why everyone
else is hungry... [Man eating food and woman is angry]