Friday, June 01, 2007

8 Madaraka day

I was going through my picture archives, and came across this photo.It was taken in February 2004, at the House of Hope. It is a school in Mtwapa a few kilometers north of Mombasa which provides education for 300 children from poor families.

In 2004 I went there with a group whose aim is to help the less fortunate. The group organised a fun day for them and provided them with a few necessities such as school books, pens etc. All the children were so lovely. They organised a play for us in swahili which was excellent. What was even more appealing was the sound effects they created using their voices, one particulary of note was of the creaking door.One of the teachers read us some poetry and finally they sang traditional songs and performed a few dances. lol.

Lunch was then served. A lady from the US told me that in her time that she spent there, she had not seen them drink milk. The children would normally get water and maharagwe (red beans) daily. It was really sad.

Anyways today is Madaraka day! The first National holiday of Kenya. In 1963 today was the first time the flag was raised and the anthem recited. This is the day when the heroes like Tom Mboya, Dedan Kimathi, Jomo Kenyatta, Harry Thuku and other Mau Mau freedom fighters struggled against the chains of colonialism. Today is the day to recall the lives that were lost and the sacrifices that were made, so that Kenya could be free.

8 comments:

kulsum! said...

hey!this is gudd stuff, i dint knw all the detail abt madaraka day! atleast now i do abit :) tc

Anonymous said...

Hi,

We are celebrating Madaraka DAy in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Please check us out at youtube.com/LadhaYaKenya

Njeri

Anonymous said...

The Mau Mau and Jomo Kenyatta were violently opposed to each other and soght each other destruction. Ironically Jomo was tried by the British for being the head of the Mau Mau. The Mau Mau were also rabidly anti-Indian but they did their bit in securing Uhuru.

You missed out Makan Singh, one of the most important and reveloutionary members that fought for freedom, though he seems to be sidelined, perhaps because of his race. But he more than most tried to fight for a country free of the struggles of race. Those that gained independence for Kenya looted the country, during the time of Jomo many Asian business were simply taken over and the owners forced out without compensation. Instead of creating a society free of prejudice which one could hope of victims, they created a society with new prejudices. And some say Africa for the Africans, but 3 Indians lost their life for every mile of railway built in Kenya and have contributed especially heavily in the economic sphere. Whilst things have moved on and there has been improvement in all walks of life one wonders whether those that fought for freedom fought for their county or themselves.

sayyeda said...

Ah! yes well I constructed the post in a hurry lol..should have paid more attention to the way I presented anyways you do raise a valid point, whilst Kenyatta has never claimed to be Mau Mau it is easy to associate him with Mau Mau. After independence he did little for Kenya and many were unhappy with him as he neglected some freedom fighters from his government and gave better positions to the homeguards(collobaraters with the colonialists)

The Mau Mau were also rabidly anti-Indian but they did their bit in securing Uhuru

I'm sure I read somwhere that some Indians took the oath and helped to smuggle guns? but ofcourse that does not prove they were not anti indians.

'You missed out Makan Singh'

As well as Pio Gama Pinto, Jaswant Singh and others,I've been brought up with linkages of black nationalists and independence, which I really should be growing out of. Anyways his poems mentioned in Zarina Patel's books are really nice. And perhaps I should have mentioned him.

'but 3 Indians lost their life for every mile of railway'

oh dear! I had no idea about that.. Can I ask where you read that?

one wonders whether those that fought for freedom fought for their county or themselves.

Well I'm sure initially they had their country's intrests at heart, or atleast I like to believe that, also any sane person cannot tolerate to watch foreigners treat their own people in a brutal way and snatch their land.

Anyways I leave you with a line from 'a tribute to Teja Singh by Makhan singh:
'He made mistakes, he was not perfect'

Thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely sure where I first read it, it is mentioned here on the internet:

http://www.global-prayer-digest.org/monthdetails/2002/md-December-2002.asp
The greatest influx of these peoples occurred in 1896 when the Uganda Railway was begun in Mombasa and was completed over difficult terrain in 1901 as it reached Lake Victoria. To build this rail line, the British brought over 31,000 workers from the Punjab and Gujarat. This arduous and technical work was done mostly by hand because no machines were available. It was accomplished through much hardship and loss of life: for each mile of rail laid, four workers died, which came out to 38 workers dying every month during the six years. In addition, more than 6,400 became invalids.

Is is also mentioned in Vasanji's excellent book The In-Between World of Vikram Lal which deals very well with Indians in the time of independence.

sayyeda said...

Thanks for the refrence, book sounds good also.

You vied well for muhindi to be acknowledged lol or so it seems like.

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