H i s t o r yK E Profile picture
Aug 3, 2018 18 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/17 #HistoryKeThread Feature On The Wakamba
2/17 Charles Dundas was a British administrator serving in ukambani around 1910.
3/17 This is what he once wrote of the Kamba:
4/17 “It is a great mistake to reckon on outwitting him [the mkamba], for he is not easily duped although he may appear so. Nor can he easily be frighted, for he will obstinately sit down and await what may come...nothing makes one more helpless...
5/17 than his discovery that your threat was an empty one...”
6/17 Charles is the one who also noted opposition by Kitui women of tilling the land using hoes as it was believed that iron implements “drove away the rains”.
7/17 In later years, there was a campaign in Ukambani to rid the place of hookworms. This led to the construction of many pit latrines.
8/17 But it took a while for the Kamba to be convinced to make use of them.
9/17 And did you know that among the Wakamba, it was a “crime” to so much as hurl an insult to an elder?
10/17 A young man who had been disrespectful to an elder was required by his father to make to the elder the gift of traditional wine, at least equal in value to a goat,
11/17 When the British started enforcing their forms of justice in Kenya, they had to somewhat accommodate these Wakamba customs, only that members of this community started asking for higher amounts in money compensation.
12/17 In some cases, the courts denied compensation when the age difference between the parties was considered inadequate.
13/17 Elders, on the other hand, believed that they were entitled to insult younger men or women.
14/17 In a case at the Machakos Magistrates Court (CA 43/67) of June 19, 1967, the plaintiff had sired the elder half-brother for saying "that he usually peeps dresses of his daughter so as to find out whether she has committed adultery".
15/17 The plaintiff sought KES 600/- as compensation but was awarded KES 200/-).
16/17 “I am satisfied that the old custom of the Kamba whereby the aged were probably privileged to insult the young ones has died out in these modern civilized periods and days where no one is privileged to insult the other”, ruled the judge.
17/17 #HistoryKeThread is adjourned.
Sued, I meant. Not sired. Geez, the folks at @twitter should allow edit.

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More from @HistoryKE

Oct 3, 2018
#RIPJosephKamaru: The curtain falls on the life of legendary Gîkûyû benga musician Joseph Kamaru, following a long illness.
This is the man whose debut 1969 hit track, Darling ya Mwarîmû (teacher’s darling), caused a storm in parliament and in the national teachers’ union, who threatened to go on strike.

It took Mzee Kenyatta’s intercession to put the storm to rest.
He composed hundreds of gîkûyû songs throughout his lifetime. In 1989, he released the track Safari ya Japan shortly after his return from the Asian country, where he had accompanied Kamaru retired President Moi on a state visit.
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Oct 2, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: Seen here conferring with then President Moi, Mr. Burudi Nabwera is a former diplomat, MP, Asst. Minister and later not only Secretary General of KANU in its heydays, but also a Minister for State.
Last year, the alumnus of Makerere University released his biography, ‘How It Happened’, a book that should be a good read for anyone interested in the politics of Kenya during the single-party era.
On 7th of October 1990, Mr. Nabwera caused a stir when he announced that the government would not prosecute anyone for the murder of former minister Robert Ouko. The report by Scotland Yard’s detective John Troon, Nabwera argued, had not named any killers.
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Sep 25, 2018
#HistoryKeThread An American’s Observation Of Life Among The Agîkûyû

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The magazine featured stories about the hunting exploits of various American hunters both at home and overseas.
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Sep 21, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: The Wadavida (Taita) Of Yore

In 1890, author Thomas Stevens authored the book, Scouting for Stanley.
The book is an account of the time Thomas spent in East Africa, where he had been sent to join in the search for legendary explorer Henry Morton Stanley.
In April of 1898, he camped at Ndara Hill among the Wataita. Here, a Rev. Wray of the Church Mission Society strived to teach the Wataita with much difficulty about the gospel of Christ. Perhaps this difficulty is what led Rev. Wray to dabble in farming.
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Sep 17, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: When Colonial Officials Adopted Locals As Mistresses

Hell hath no fury like a randy colonial officer stationed miles away from conjugal comfort.
In the early colonial years, the Governors' subordinates were initially men taken over from Imperial British EA Company (IBEAC). Later on, a professional class of colonial civil servants was recruited to take up the many administrative positions opening up in the colony.
Many of the officers had hardly gone beyond the age of 30.

As such, they invariably found themselves sexually starved and lonely. That is, if they didn't have African mistresses.
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Sep 3, 2018

Krapf’s Tough Crusade

In July, 1846, pioneering missionary Ludwig Krapf struggled to attend to his ailing, bed-ridden wife.

Krapf had suffered a debilitating fever and so had his wife, Mrs. Dietrich Krapf, who was in a worse state....
She had days earlier given birth to a baby girl at their budding Rabai mission.

Hours to her death, she asked Krapf to bury her right there at Rabai, saying she needed her remains to "constantly remind the passersby of the great object which...
...had brought the servants of the church of Christ to their country...."

Krapf would much later write that his wife "wished to be preaching to them by the lonely spot which encloses her earthly remains."
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