1920’s East Africa– “AFRICAN UNREST CONTINUED”
Last week’s blog covered the arrest of Harry Thuku, a Wakikuyu man described as “a native agitator.” His arrest resulted in large crowds of angry Africans, demanding his release. The crowd had been ordered to disperse, and most did but during the night, the crowd increased again until, on the morning of the 17th, it was announced that a deputation of six “natives” and no more would be received by the Colonial Secretary. It was up to the crowd to determine which six men should represent them and their grievances. The Colonial Secretary saw these six men in “witness’s presence” and the men were told to go back to their people and order them to disperse which they attempted at 10:45 am.
By then “the crowd had considerably increased” and “the attitude of the crowd had changed from being a rather quiet sort of assembly to a rather truculent one.” This was due to “certain natives walking amongst the crowd and haranguing them. Some were calling on the people to throw away their kipandis (working and identification papers) and to withhold the hut and poll taxes. The talk was seditious and inflammatory.”
By 12:15 pm, the deputation appeared at the “Caledonian football ground” where they again asked the crowd to disperse. This time, it nearly worked but “about 250 women who had been with the crowd all morning… shouted at the men and called them cowards.” This served to enrage the men who surged forward toward the fences. The forty men who defended the South Gate “came down to the charge with their bayonets, the front rank kneeling.” The 3rd King’s African Rifles were called upon for another fifty men to assist. Twenty men were held in reserve at Mr. Thuku’s cell.
At “four minutes to one o’clock” a shout was heard coming from near the South Gate and “almost simultaneously” a shot. Cease fire was blown on the bugle and the whistle
NEXT WEEK – WHAT HAPPENED?
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