Mekatilili Wa Menza

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Mekatilili Wa Menza (or Makatilili) was a Kenyan woman leader, who led the Giriama people in a rebellion against the British Colonial Administration and policies actively in 1913 - 1914. The Giriama people are a subgroup of Mijikenda peoples who inhabit the Kenyan coast; they had sacred dwelling places called kayas, located in forested areas, one of which the British Colonial Administration destroyed by dynamiting it in 1914. This was Kaya Fungo.

Mekatilili was captured by the British and exiled to Mumias in Western Province. According to British colonial records, five years later, she returned to her native area where she continued to oppose the imposition of Colonial policies and ordinances.

She died in 1914, and was buried in Bungale Sub-location, in Magarini Constituency, Malindi District.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Elizabeth Mugi-Ndua: Mekatilili Wa Menza : Woman Warrior (Sasa Sema Publications, 2000) ISBN 9966-951-03-2
  • Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui: The adventures of Mekatilili (East African Educational Publ., 1999) ISBN 9966-25-004-2
  • "A Socio-historical Perspective of the Art and Material Culture of the Mijikenda of Kenya", PhD Thesis, School of oriental and African Studies, University of London, London,U.K.
  • 2012 Max Dashu, 2012. Mekatilili: prophetess of the 1913 Giriama revolt.[2]


  1. ^ Daily Nation, August 18, 2009: Malindi honours Kenya freedom heroine
  2. ^ Max Dashu, 2012

External links[edit]