A couple of days ago, Susan, Olivia, and Adam visited the Mau Mau Memorial Monument in Nairobi, Kenya, officially known as ‘The Memorial to the Victims of Torture and Ill-Treatment in the Colonial Era, 1952-1960’.
British governmental support for the memorial was one of three aspects of the settlement following a case filed by the Mau Mau War Veterans in 2009, the other two being a financial settlement and a statement of regret. It was opened on 12th September 2015, with many Mau Mau veterans in attendance and serves as both a reminder of Kenya and Britain’s challenging past, and a ‘symbol of reconciliation’ between the British government, the Mau Mau, and all those who suffered during the Emergency.
Plaques surround the monument, explaining the ‘State of Emergency’, the ‘Mau Mau Movement’, and the ‘Reconciliation’ in British and Swahili. In the videos below, Susan explains the significance of the two central statues, which depict a male Mau Mau soldier and a female fighter, who brought the Mau Mau food in the forests. The fighters were not allowed to look each other in the face in case they were able to identify one another later, especially under interrogation or torture. Susan goes on to translate the Swahili plaque beneath the monument, which explains the story.
See more about the memorial:
A different perspective on the memorial – “In all the hyper-buzz about this memorial we choose to forget that the Kenya Land and Freedom army did not fight for a monument. They fought for land.”