Tuesday 28 August 2012


Ever since the country now known as Kenya was first brutally ushered into Anglosaxon modernity at the end of the 19th century,the Kikuyu,whose homeland encompasses Mt.Kenya and the outlying highlands have been at the forefront of national sociopolitical developments;a fact many have commented upon.
One of the most brutal colonisers Captain Richard Henry Meinertzhagen (1878-1967) of the Kings African Rifle mentioned this Kikuyu rebellious spirit when he said during his departure from Kenya: "I am sorry to leave the Kikuyu. They are the most intelligent of the African tribes I have met; therefore, they will be the most progressive under European guidance and will be more susceptible to subversion activities. They will be one of the first tribes to demand freedom from European influence and in the end cause a lot of trouble."
Its therefore no surprise,this same highly experienced colonial officer,the archtype of the brutally efficient loyal servant of the Queen,(who would definitely have faced ICC charges if it existed then,by his own self confessed actions) spoke of a secret Kikuyu army called "Maw Maw," in 1950, 2 years before the outbreak of hostilities.
Other Kenyans,envy and hate Kikuyus,and freely admit to it. When pushed for explanations,theories of political advantage,exclusionism and a latent superiority complex are often heard-but one wonders really? Here is a neutral non Kenyan observer:They have a desire for knowledge and it is believed that all children should receive a full education. They have a terrific reputation for money management and it is common for them to have many enterprises at one time. The Kikuyu have also been active politically.
 During the PEV,there was an obvious schadenfreude from unaffected parties as they watched TV footage of suddenly impoverished Kikuyus shepherded to safety by army units in the Rift Valley. Very quickly,too quickly,these envious people parroted the line of the attackers repeating cant about "historic land injustices/dispossession of land and blatant electoral disenfranchisement."
Like all mantras,this is emotionally appealing and serves no purpose in meeting reality. In the considered opinion of many,Kikuyus have simply been way ahead of the curve from the beginning. Here is something I recently stumbled across that supports that contention and also invalidates the standard mainstream canard that Africa had no script. This is gicandi-indigenous Kikuyu writing.
They are from Scoresby Routledge, 'With a prehistoric people.' IDK if they're classified as ideogram or pictographs but the translation of the script reveals normal day to day activities which makes clear it was common enough for daily usage and also suggests it was widely understood. However even by then 1910 ,it was dying out and few could decipher the signs.
Other writers have remarked on this writing but these are the only images I could find. Apparently it may have been a degeneration of a true phonetic script-a story for another day but exemplifies how these people have always been in the forefront of everything.
Those investigating this national Kikuyu preeminence would,in my view do well to thoroughly research the origins of gicandi,no easy task,since even the old have forgotten it,but it would perhaps reveal the mental software processes that led to this situation.

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