1920’s East Africa– “AFRICAN UNREST PART 3”
After over 14 hours of Kikuyu protest over Harry Thuku’s arrest, the protesters charged the police lines under agitation of several women and a few male leaders who told the protesters not to worry as the “askaris are only bibis” (women). In the resulting brief gunfire, several protesters were killed. Initially sixteen were dead and five more soon added as they died in the “native hospital.” Eventually, the death toll rose still higher as more Kikuyu died of their wounds.
In with the crowd were a few Europeans and several Indians. Subsequent discussions led many British to believe that this riot was not the work of the Kikuyu. At least, it was not in keeping with any previously seen Kikuyu behavior. It was unfathomable that they would push their women forward to the front lines. What was never suggested was that the women moved up to the front on their own. If the Kikuyu men were not considered capable of fomenting a riot, the women were ignored even more. However, no one could come up with anyone else to blame for the riot.
In the days after the tragic shootings, the “Chief Native Commissioner issued a pamphlet in Swahili for circulation among the Natives of the Colony.” The pamphlet briefly described what happened and ended by putting “the question straight to the natives, whether they are going to be ruled by Thuku or by their own chiefs and government. It accused the “Thuku movement” of being “a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Chiefs and defy the Government.” (It should be noted that the Kikuyu had not traditionally had a Chief, but were governed by the elders. The concept of a village Chief was established by the British government to make rule easier.) In Nairobi, the Town Council voted to cut the “native staff’s” wages “as a lesson.”
And what happened to Harry Thuku? The Leader reported that he was removed to Kismayu where he was detained.
NEXT WEEK – More News from Jade’s time?
Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 25, 1922.
By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.
Next week: More Nairobi news:
SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts