Dismantling African Myths
The Kikuyu have existed as a tribe for a maximum of about 100 years. They are a small tribe, but as I shall try to explain, the traditions that Jomo Kenyatta wrote in Facing Mount Kenya allows for an ‘eating of other communities’ in order for the ‘Tribe’ to amass land, and to increase population numbers. This is why many Kikuyu, do not ‘look Kikuyu’ – these have been assimilated into the Kikuyu tribe.
As Kenyatta himself prefaces in his book, “…the usual European way of spelling this word is “Kikuyu” which is incorrect as it should be Gikuyuor in the strict phonetic spelling, Gokoyo. This form refers only to the country itself. A Gikuyu person is MuGiKuYu or in plural aGiKuYu.
Moombi is M-B-Y, for Utu consisted mainly of consonants for vowels were introduced by the european. When we talk of the people of Africa, the word bantu means not a ‘type of tribe’ but means is M-B-Y, for Utu consisted mainly of consonants for vowels were introduced by the european. When we talk of the people of Africa, the word bantu means not a ‘type of tribe’ but means is M-B-Y, for Utu consisted mainly of consonants for vowels were introduced by the european. When we talk of the people of Africa, the word bantu means not a ‘type of tribe’ but means people – B-T-U Bantu – wa-tu – w-t-u – utu)
The older, more ancient group name was The older, more ancient group name was Moombi. When searching for the existence of a people, historians often use the science of etymology.
African’s have never seen themselves in terms of ‘tribes’ but in terms of a fluid movement of Utu – People. The terms nilotic, cushite, bantu were introduced by the European in an effort to contain and compress the Africans into a ‘box’ – in today’s slang, we would say, ‘amewekwa box’ – this is essentially what happened to East Africans. We were diced up, and placed into little boxes.
Jomo Kenyatta said so himself, that “….culture has no meaning apart from the social organisation of life on which it is built…” Culture has no meaning AWAY from the social organization of the life on which it is built..” – whether he came upon this anthropological conclusion by himself or it was discovered by Professor Malionwski can be debated upon, but the modern anthropologist knows this as truth. Culture is what holds Africans together, and culture is tied not only to humans, but to the lands, the waters, the hills, mountains (the earth) and all that swims (in the waters) walks, crawls, flies and grows within her sphere/realm or domain.
Without a culture, there is no “living” – or life.
… there are no Nilotics nor Cushites, it’s yet another hairy lie…
Kenyans today face a grim life with many youth stating that they have no ‘life – that “life is meaningless”, or that “I cannot afford a life..” – the adages are many, and the reason for this is a complete is a cultural breakdown and a general cognitive dissonance that refuses to accept facts as presented. So deeply wedged and compressed are the untruths about we as Kenyans that truth does not trickle to the surface. The older psychologists are at a loss, having gained Degrees from the same system that teaches a veneration of the white man and his theories and a diminishing of African practicality.
In fact, it has been established that many University institutions are the most institutionalized programs – especially when one dares present views or write a thesis that is outside of the accepted parameters. Any material that is contra to, or controversial to the universities views or outlook is frowned upon. Thus, those whom are Africa’s “intellectuals” – the Scientists, Doctors and Psychologists are often at a loss – mimicking their European counterparts in trying to treat Mental unease which is as a result of the very lies that have been told to us, and that continue being replicated to us – that Black, is vile and daft.
This is just a tip of the ice-burg, for universities also morph Black bright youngers into a coon clique that is unable to understand the needs of their greater black sisters and brothers majority – what they call their poor “dumb cousins”, or “village relatives”. University education and intellectualism elevates the learned into an Elite alliance all of it’s own that rarely returns itself to the problems of the masses.
I once spoke to a bitter old pastoralist man in the heart of an Isiolo conservancy who said that “… not having proper schools in the marginalized areas separates us from our children and destroys our cultures – they go to Nairobi to learn, living with aunts and uncles who may not treat them well, but in those expensive schools, they forget about the cows and camels. By the time they are finished with this education, they know nothing about their culture and nothing about their landscape..they are technically useless which leads to a loathsome bitterness…”
But, a younger more literate generation that has access to millions of files of knowledge online has, in an effort to understand the historical ills that have dodged them, gone backwards into our rich and deep African history to try and understand societal issues, finding that most are caused by two factors; a complete breakdown of our cultures, and the subsequent imprudent adoption of foreign ‘life-styles’ which, like pain medication, do not address the core issues but simply dull agony.
Africa is a continent of one Bantu. There is nothing like ‘Tribe’
We are not divided into ‘tribes, religions or regions’. This has been the sham all along – we are all, one peoples with different skin tones, different heights, different noses, different weights, different eye shapes, and different hair types. Africa is a continent of one Bantu. Including the Kikuyu, as vile as their history is.
“When the European comes to the country and robs the people of their land, the white is taking away not only their livelihood, but the quantifiable symbol that holds family together. In doing this he gives blows, and these blows cut away at the foundations from the whole of Gikuyu life – social, moral, and economic. When the European explains to his own satisfaction and after the most superficial glance at the issues involved, that he is doing this for the sake of the Africans, to civilize them, to teach them the disciplinary value of regular work, and give them the benefit of European progressive ideas, he is adding insult to injury, and convinces no one but himself.” (Adapted, Jomo Kenyatta 1938: 305)
Jomo Kenyatta was sly, and he understood what the European and the British had come to do in Africa. At first one is suitably excited when he denounces the Scottish Mission and Christian Theology – then one becomes puzzled when he expects his subjects to shift back to the very ideology that he himself had rejected. The Church became one of the strongest sectors of the state, dictating to Mzee Kenyatta, and to all Kenyans, the political direction of the entire nation. BUT, take note of the fact that while he was not unique in talking about the British and the European in general making land claims through a narrative of historical affiliation, his deception was that he addressed a single ‘tribe’, and thus contradicted himself at every turn. And this is the problem with Kenya today.
Political freedom, land ownership and citizen privileges do not benefit Kenyans. These benefits have historically aided and still advance the Kikuyu Catholic first, then the Kikuyu Christian second. It is an example of the frequent inconsistencies and incongruences tossed out by the Late Founding Father, for Johnstone Kamau was raised by the Scottish Missionaries – whom are not Catholic, but High Anglican (yet another division within the Christian Church). This is why I stated and keep repeating that this book and the contradictions in Kenyatta’s life are deliberate, to further obscure and muddy his, and the kikuyu’s already ambiguous history. From roughly the late 1920s onwards the British colonial administration was continuously confronted by groups of people asserting their land rights across Kenya on the basis of cultural histories (Lonsdale 2008: 307). But the British had no time, nor sympathy with this narrative for they had come to extract wealth. Thus, they alienated and separated people away from themselves – they divided east african “subjects” away from the fluid (always moving and resettling) Utu movements into dense and “Exclusive Tribal” sections of their creation, at their whim. They forbade locals to plant cotton or tobacco, they declared ‘mavaki’, marijuana and locally made brews illegal. They uprooted ArrowRoots and poisoned streams and wells. They forbade the Kikuyu in particular, to produce Iron. The British set huts on fire and killed women and children, again, at whim. They initiated hunting bans, forbade the ‘African’ from carrying guns in his own land, forbade men to gather wild honey from their own forests. They put up boundaries, declared No Go Zones for others.
Exclusive Tribal contracts were often concealed from the people. They were also secretive – deliberate negotiations and manipulations of tribal identities by colonial administrators, and in many cases, by Africans themselves. (see for instance Hamilton 1998; Pels 1996). One of these coon Africans was Jomo Kenyatta, and thus the reason for his writing a book about a tribe that had never in reality, existed. This division was based on what the white administrators, white missionaries and white anthropologists forced on the people as cultural markers, despite the people’s refusal, and it paved the way for a distinct colonial geography of native “reserves” that assumed a connection between culture and territory.
To this day, those reserves remain. Now known as ‘Counties’ they used to be known as Reserves – the ‘Kikuyu’ Reserve, the Akamba Reserve, The Meru Reserve, etc. Our cultures have stagnated, we have been locked, on land.
Of the Ashkinazi Jews and the ignoble Brits
While there is not ample space to deal with the whole issue of the Ashkenazi “Zionist” diaspora and its accompanying controversies indepth, there is one issue, however, which, because of the backing it received from Britain and from influential Zionists in Europe, requires our attention as a subject of paramount interest. The issue was the idea to establish a homeland in Kenya between 1902 – 1905 for those European Jews who had become victims of pogroms in Russia, Eastern and Central Europe and other parts of far-flung Eastern Europe. Although these Ashkenazi Jews whose origins are 10,000 kms away from Africa have not been the only victims of racial prejudice and persecution worldwide, they have used the Holocaust to push the While there is not ample space to deal with the whole issue of the Ashkenazi “Zionist” diaspora and its accompanying controversies indepth, there is one issue, however, which, because of the backing it received from Britain and from influential Zionists in Europe, requires our attention as a subject of paramount interest. The issue was the idea to establish a homeland in Kenya between 1902 – 1905 for those European Jews who had become victims of pogroms in Russia, Eastern and Central Europe and other parts of far-flung Eastern Europe. Although these Ashkenazi Jews whose origins are 10,000 kms away from Africa have not been the only victims of racial prejudice and persecution worldwide, they have used the Holocaust to push the Zionism & TerritorialismAgenda, today understood as a program for the Ashkenazi to push an ideology of wholesale land-grabbing and apartheid within Palestine. But the idea is important to remember, because in 1902 it provoked one of the most virulent reactions from the British settlers in colonial Kenya while at the same time it un-raveled vituperative anti-Semitism across white Kenya. The British and Boer Settlers saw themselves as owners of the land and the people, and as such did not want to share it with any other caucasian, let alone return it to the Africans. (sources: Mwangi wa-Githumo, Transafrican Journal of History Vol. 22 (1993), pp. 87-99 ). It is thus interesting to note that the book, Facing Mount Kenya was written by a formerly uneducated man who declared passionately in a thesis that is more political than anthropological, that the very lands the Jewish were to inherit, and thus inhabit in actuality belonged to “a very large African tribe know as the Agikuyu.” – and it paid well for the same British Settlers to play into this claim. The Ashkenazi Jews were eventually dumped into Palestine in 1948.
Bantu (Watu) movements
Utu movement was much more fluid than it is now, and rarely permanent apart from our cities, thus in order to find the roots of the Utu of ‘Moombi’, we would have to transverse further than what is now marked as ‘Kikuyu-land’ and that the clues of the origins of the now known tribe known as Agikuyuwould be to look for a civilization where women were warriors and ruled for over one hundred years.
While reading the following keep in mind that historically the demise of the African Spiritual and Warrior Queen began always with the introduction of the Romano ideology commonly referred to as Christianity and always disseminated by the Caucasian.
In terms of physical space the British occupied that huge piece of land from the Swahili Coast to Western Uganda, dubbed it the ‘British Protectorate’ and set up invisible borders. But, before this, people movements were across the whole of Africa. Looking for a race of Warrior Queens within our current borders is to propagate the lie – we are Africans. And Africa, is a Continent. To the West of current “Kenya”, which is central to East Africa, is the lake is known as Nalubale which means ‘the lake of the Goddesses’ in the Buganda Language. Further west, to present day West Africa, were a famous warrior tribe known as the Mino, which means “our mothers” – a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted until the end of the 19th century. This Kingdom extended to present day East Africa. To the East were the great civilizations of Axum where women were fierce fighters and warriors, while to the North and South were the greatest of Tall Dark Warriors, the people of Maa. In the North these Utu were known as Egyptians/Sudanese/ from the land of Kemet whom were ruled often, by great Queens, and in the South these same people built the great Kingdoms of Zimbabwe, the name which represents a contracted form of dzimba-hwe, which means “venerated houses” in the Zezuru dialect of Shona, and usually references chiefs’ houses.
The truth is harsher yet.
Did Moombi and her 10 warrior daughters exist? Are they factual people?
Tassi Hangbé, daughter of King Haouegbadja
Tassi Hangbé was a stateswoman who ruled the Kingdom of Dahomey from 1708 to 1711. Her father, King Houegbadja who ruled from 1645 to 1685 as the third King of Dahomey is said to have originally started the group – which would later become ‘the Mino’, as a corps of elephant hunters called the gbeto. The Kingdom of Dahomey was a pre-colonial African Kingdom that existed from about 1600 until 1894, when the last king, Béhanzin was defeated by the French, and the country annexed into the French colonial empire. Dahomey had developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon in the early 17th century and became a regional power in the 18th century by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast. It had an organized domestic economy built on conquest, slave labor, significant international trade with Europeans, a centralized administration, taxation systems, and an organized military. Notable in the kingdom were significant artwork, the all-female military unit the elaborate religious practices of Vodun and the large festival of the Annual Customs of Dahomey. During this festival which was attended by Africans from across the region, they traded slaves captured during wars and raids and exchanged them with Europeans for goods such as knives, bayonets, firearms, fabrics, and spirits. (Alpern, Stanley B. (1998). Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey (1st ed.). New York, U.S.: New York University Press.)
The Mino were rigorously trained and given uniforms. Training consisted of intense physical exercises, survival skills and learning to become indifferent to physical pain by storming acacia thorn defenses in military exercises (that is painful. Ever stepped on an acacia thorn?) Control of emotional pain was taught through the execution of prisoners. Serving in the Mino offered women the opportunity to “rise to positions of command and influence” in an environment that was structured for individual empowerment. The Mino were also wealthy and held high status, and began to take prominent roles in the Grand Council, debating the policy of the kingdom. From the 1840s to 1870s (when the opposing party collapsed), they generally supported peace with Abeokuta and stronger commercial relations with England, favouring the trade in palm oil, above that of slaves; this set them at odds with their male military colleagues who preferred the selling of slaves. By the mid-19th century, they numbered about 6,000 women, a third of the entire Dahomey army according to reports written by visitors. These documented reports also indicated that the women soldiers suffered several defeats.
The Mino were said to be structured in parallel with the army as a whole, with a center wing (the king’s bodyguards) flanked on both sides, each under separate commanders. Some accounts note that each male soldier had a female warrior counterpart, and in an 1849/50 account by an Englishman, it was documented that the women had three stripes of white wash around each leg, and were honored with other marks of distinction. The women’s army consisted of a number of regiments: huntresses, riflewomen, reapers, archers, and gunners. Each regiment had different uniforms, weapons and commanders. In the latter period, the Dahomean female warriors were armed with Winchester rifles, clubs and knives and units were under female command. An 1851 published translation of a war chant of the women claims the warriors would chant, “as the blacksmith takes an iron bar and by fire changes its fashion so have we changed our nature. We are no longer women, we are men.” The troops were disbanded when the kingdom became a French protectorate. According to a historian who traced the lives of almost two dozen ex-Mino, all the women displayed difficulties adjusting to life as retired warriors, often struggling to find new roles in their communities that gave them a sense of pride comparable to their former lives. Many displayed a tendency to start fights or arguments that frightened their neighbours and relatives. Between 1934 and 1942, several British travelers in Abomey recorded encounters with ex-Mino, now old women who spun cotton or idled around courtyards. The last survivor of the Dahomey Mino is thought to have been a woman named Nawi. In a 1978 interview with a Beninese historian, Nawi claimed to have fought the French in 1892. Nawi died in November 1979, aged well over 100 years.
In Kikuyu, the word for mother, is Maito.
Traveling across Africa
In his drawing up of invisible borders across African land, the European effectively cut us off from ourselves, concentrating and ushering us into pens. Leaving those pens required permission and the permission passes became more and more difficult to obtain. Today traveling includes permissions to pass various ports or portals, and entrance fees (visa), agreement contracts stating the nature and length of a visit. This Big Brother Mentality is disheartening and frustrating for the African traveler – and that is exactly the point. For if we traveled more, we would know whom we are, we would share stories, poetry, songs and writing. Our Arts, Comedies and Dances would awaken lost memories.
In Kenya we have been taught separatism and segregation by territory, and there is a underlying hostility when entering “Kikuyu Territory” by non-Kikuyu, or non catholic/Christian. Note that three of the Abrahamic faiths which were founded in North and North East Africa profoundly affect and relate largely to the people of Africa – these are the Christian, Judaism, and the Islamic faiths. In the 3,000 years before the white person came into Africa, there were two journeys that Africans undertook and have been taking since the beginning of time – one was to Jerusalem, known by it’s pre-biblical name Uru-Salim, and the other annual journey was to Mecca. Both these annual trips were for trade & commerce, and this side of the common era, as we have been ‘informed’ by the white man, our ancestors apparently travelled to these cities to worship our Gods. The word Meccahowever, means “a large market place – a meeting place”. Other places where we as Africans often travelled to was Timbuktu, that greatest of all learning institutions worldwide and well placed smack bang, in the heart of Africa. The city of Alexandria had the greatest of Libraries but this was burnt down by Roman Julius Caesar in 48BC.
Journeying across Africa was often by camel caravan while the wealthy traveled by horse. There are thousands of images across Africa that show both male and female warriors with horses, while Queens and Kings rode Elephants. One of the most famous stories is told of Mansa Musa, the King of Mali whom traveled on the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Another is the Queen of Sheba aka Makeda, who traveled from her lands which included present-day Yemen, to Uru-Salim when Solomon built a magnificent temple there. From the interior of what was known as Central Africa beyond the great lakes, to the North through Sudan, there were trade routes to Lamu, and to Manbaça/ Manbasa/ or Mvita, the last derived from Shehe Mvita. Meanwhile, within Tanganika there were various Trade Routes to Bagamoyo, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kilwa Kisiwani.
In Ethiopia, the Christian faith embodies the man Yeshua, as a holy black man, and one of their ancestors. Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the ancient Kingdom of Aksum, when King Ezana first adopted the faith, as Kings and Queens frequently traveled to Uru Salim. The largest pre-colonial Christian church of Africa was the Ethiopian Church which had a membership of between 40 and 46 million people. Having no outside influence, the persona of Yeshua is stubbornly African and the Ethiopians persistently embrace this knowledge. In Yemen’s Sana’a in 1901, a german man ‘discovered’ a group of pure Sephardic Jews that had not received any exterior influence. Yet Europeans made constant “assumptions” (a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof – a knowledge which is based on theory) that these lands had all been “ravaged” by Muslims and that Muslims, Christians, or Jews could not exist together peacefully – but we DO. To date.
However, in Kenya, our founding father held firmly to and broadcast the lie that “we” – the Kikuyu and essentially all Kenyans, were a static non-traveling group of people who have no history outside of the Facing Mount Kenya thesis. The myth becomes a simpletons story, not founded on facts, but written as a “fairy story”. This psychology is fairly simple. When a government cages a people physically they become dumb because Big Brother can limit what information goes into the cage. Make travel difficult, expensive and unobtainable to the common masses, impose strict rules. This is why the British stopped Kenyans in Eastern Africa from traveling. When we compare the above to Kenyan history, we find that much of Kikuyu culture is not only confused, but that stories from different families do not match up, and there are no artifacts, no drawings, no art, no music, no talent, no true knowledge of their lands, no Kings and surprisingly for AFRICA, no Queens.