Absurdity of the Week

The British Council in Nairobi on April 8th hosted a public debate on Kenya, Britain and the Mau Mau. On hand was David Anderson, writer of the critically acclaimed ‘Histories of the Hanged – Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire’, one of two recent books that have re-written the history of Kenya’s Emergency Period. He was joined by FEMNET’s Muthoni Wanyeki and Professor Michael Chege for a panel that I take it was going to debate the brutal and illegal war that the British prosecuted against the Mau Mau. Fine people, with fine sentiments. But what is strange of course, make that downright weird, is that the forum was held at the British Council. As always in Kenya, even when you are complaining about colonial daddy, you must use his institutions and resources to do so. I was not present, but I doubt that poor ex-Mau Mau fighters and supporters who never received compensation for their sacrifices and injustices borne were allowed into that room. I want to be wrong, but I can already see the shiny NGO types with their airy talk of marginalisation and resistance and policy swinging their expensively oiled dreadlocks and acting outraged at the British. In Kenya when we do absurdity, we go all the way to the point that an onlooker would be convinced that he is in a mental ward at Mathare Psychiatric Hospital. Do you know what the whole horse and pony really was about? Mau Mauing – in the Tom Wolfe sense – the British into extending more cash to the NGOs present. I will talk about that in the next post: The new Mau Mauing…

See the London Review of Books’ review of the books on Mau Mau by David Anderson and Caroline Elkins: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n05/port01.html

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About bulletsandhoney
I read my first book when I was three, then my second one a few weeks later. It has carried on this way for decades with only temporary distractions of eating, fighting, loving, heartbreak and other such irrelevant biographical details.

3 Responses to Absurdity of the Week

  1. les says:

    I love my child .But i still would get angry

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