Talk:Mau Mau Uprising/Archive 1

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2011: Suggest Dependent Article created on Detention Camps

This article is getting rather unwieldy. To help sort this out can I suggest that a dependent article on the Detention Camps is created, as per the guidelines Wikipedia:Summary style, and the article reverts to the one someone has recommended below - which, like most Wikipedia articles, could be improved. For those interested in the Mau Mau Uprisings the anthropologist Louis Leakey (LSB Leakey) is a primary source. He wrote two books on the Mau Mau: Mau Mau and the Kikuyu, (Methuen, 1952) and Defeating Mau Mau (Methuen, 1954). Leakey was a native Kikuyu speaker, a member of the Mukanda Kikuyu age group and an intitiated first-grade elder (Muthuri wa mburi imwe). ixo (talk) 11:40, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

2010: Cleanup and Revamp

I am working on a major revamp of this article to bring it up to Wikipedia standards. If you can help please feel free to do so. Thanks! ScottPAnderson (talk) 12:53, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

  1. Moved the page to "Kenya Emergency (1952)". Reason: That is the official name of the conflict. ScottPAnderson (talk) 23:21, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Added:
    1. Introduction section (complete revamp)..
    2. Etymological discussion (complete revamp - titled "KLFA or Mau Mau?")
    3. Official status (last section before "legal case")....

More to come...ScottPAnderson (talk) 01:34, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

You say "Kenya Emergency (1952)" is the official name of the conflict - according to whom? The search term "Mau Mau Uprising" gives 721,000 Google hits, while "Kenya Emergency" gives 25,000 mostly unrelated hits. So it would seem the original title might be more appropriate. . . Galloping Moses (talk) 08:18, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Galloping Moses, the name is fully attributed (Two sources. I could get more if necessary). The page move & title is based on the official name for the conflict - not the name as it appears on search engine (of which many hits are simply regurgitation of previous Wikipedia content). "Mau Mau uprising" pushes a pro colonial viewpoint. "Kenya Emergency" is neutral.ScottPAnderson (talk) 09:40, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Scott, if you feel this article should be renamed, please make a requested move. That said, I strongly doubt your proposal will get any support (and you probably feel the same) Julius Sahara (talk) 08:46, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
@Julius Sahara, I disagree because you have not given substantive reasons for insisting on the term "Mau Mau Uprising". The informal name is taken care of via a redirect. I could add a note saying "The conflict is referred to by some as an Uprising, Rebellion or revolt. Would that help? ScottPAnderson (talk) 09:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
PS: I dont see your point in stating "and you probably feel the same". Let's keep it civil Julius. It's not a contest. ScottPAnderson (talk) 09:40, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Comments on early drafts

If this article was on the Jewish Holocaust, its author would be the Nazis. Just goes to show how relying on Wikipedia for history on developing countries will yield some laughable results. If you start by calling people fighting against an invading force that steals their land and herds them in a concentration camp as "rebels" then you have to be part of the government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Popq (talkcontribs) 17:47, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Damn! Who WROTE this stuff? There seems to be an overemphasis on the violence and brutality of the Mau-Mau -- and, indeed, they were violent and brutal. Yet, there is virtually no information provided on what prompted such violence. What about the deprivation and degradation of the Kikuyu under British rule? What about how the British mistreated Kenyans, seized their land, causing desperate deprivation -- and the scandal that ensued when the government tried to cover up reports that British soldiers had castrated Kikuyu men using pliers? Hey, how's that for brutal?

Like it or not, the Mau-Mau were freedom fighters (at least initially), trying to free themselves from British rule. But, gee, you sure wouldn't really know that from reading this. This article definitely needs a major rewrite. There needs to be some balance. deeceevoice 17:32, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sure; thanks for noting the one-sidedness of the coverage, and feel free to add material to balance it, if you have the time; we should seek a neutral point of view, of course. Articles rarely start off perfectly balanced -- it doesn't (necessarily) mean the authors-so-far have deliberately and nefariously been trying to paint a one-sided picture; we should assume good faith. — Matt 17:44, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't know how much of all the garbage about cannibalism, bestiality, etc., is true. It sounds like a lot of racist propaganda. In some of the reading I've done, it seems a lot of this was simply rubbish cooked up by white colonialists. There is absolutely no real explanation in this piece WHY the Kikuyu rebelled, what their grievances were. White settlers hardly lived "alongside" Kenyans. Kenyans were robbed of their land, forced to the brink of starvation, conscripted into military service and then subsequently discriminated against and denied even the most basic human rights in their own country. There is no attempt to put the Mau-Mau in the context of a struggle for national liberation from a brutal, oppressive, white, minority, colonial regime. Theirs was a righteous struggle -- that ultimately resulted in Kenyan independence and the ascension of Jomo Kenyatta (originally arrested with others accused of having dealings with the Mau-Mau and convicted in a British kangaroo court and then imprisoned). Kenya was very much like apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia in terms of the power relationships under British colonial rule: black oppression and deprivation, white privilege and prosperty.

The Mau-Mau were the vanguard in the struggle against such injustice. And this entry does them a grave disservice. It should be trashed and begun again.deeceevoice 22:22, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No, I'm afraid it shouldn't. I don't know a great deal about the Mau Mau, but I have heard at least two POVs, both the "dead-goat-humping savages" line and the "noble, righteous, freedom-fighters" epithet. (Both may be true as far as I know!) However, Wikipedia -- as I'm sure you're aware -- is NPOV. This means that we must document all the different major points of view on the Mau Mau, even if we disagree with them or find them repugnant. You've noted that this article fails to document one POV, and I agree; let's try and fix it. However, it would be a mistake to blank it and start again, as you suggest; there's a lot of useful factual information here, for a start, and even biased material is useful in the sense that it documents a point of view. We just need to reword it for neutrality. — Matt 00:40, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have completed an extensive edit of the article. Comments would be appreciated. Unless someone speaks up, I'll take down the biased view marker. I don't know if I'm the only one who has noticed this, but the entire page also needs to be moved to "Mau Mau Uprising" and "Mau Mau" should be a redirect. BanyanTree 12:48, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have removed the npov marker and requested that this page be moved to Mau Mau Uprising. BanyanTree 20:20, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Page move

(from WP:RM)

Mau MauMau Mau Uprising

  • The article, even from its initial stub, stated "The Mau Mau Rebellion", and has been revised and edited as an article about the revolt rather than a participant in the revolt. For over a year the article has begun "The Mau Mau Uprising was" without anyone removing the boldface from "Uprising". The article is clearly on the wrong page. (Mau Mau Uprising is currently a redirect to the Mau Mau page, which describes the Uprising.) Cheers, BanyanTree 23:10, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Possible good references

The Economist highlights these two books that discuss this conflict:

  • Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire By David Anderson ISBN: 0393059863
  • Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of the End of Empire in Kenya By Caroline Elkins ISBN: 0805076530

--Confuzion 21:48, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've added them into an References section in the article. BanyanTree 01:13, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This article appeared on the Internet the other day. [1] gathima 19:00, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I, too, think you need to take into account Elkins and Anderson's work mentioned above, and not just leave them as a reference. Elkins, for instance, mentions that almost 1 million persons were interned in concentration camps and the euphemistically named "enclosed villages"- why does your article not mention this? This review of her book mentions that aspect:

This review of both books reports in further detail on Anderson's investigation into British policy and the name contemporary British officials gave the tortures, the gestapo. All of this is extremely significant in that it happened very shortly after WWII, yet very few are aware of its magnitude.

This is a wiki. If you have information that should be added, then you should be the one to add it. I look forward to your contributions. - BanyanTree 01:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The Article is fine to me

Why does Deeceevoice automatically brand an article that is critical of black people is 'racist crap'. I have lived in Kenya and I can comment on the basis of some knowledge, rather than solely on the basis of a shared ethnicity. It is clear that both sides in this 'Uprising' used tactics and methods they do not bear scrutiny. However, it is important to realise that a solitary incident does note make an habitual practice. Furthermore, we should be wary of some stories that may well have been promulgated as the result of propaganda (by either side). I am concerened that a recent revision states that the British got most of their information by torture, that they used torture chambers in Nairobi, that the white settlers tortured their black workers for information and sport. Where is the evidence for this, other than apocryphal stories. There was mistreatment of Mau Mau detainees by the British. That is a matter of record, but the only torture chambers I know of in Nairobi are the ones built after independence. Robert 56

As as been mentioned below, Deeceevoice was commenting on an earlier revision of the page. Allegations of torture are nearly always controversial, so we should directly cite sources for this information. &mdash; Matt <small>Crypto</small> 10:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't know if the article has been updated since the comments made by deeceevoice, but the article I read on Jan 3 was a perfectly balanced description of the Mau Mau Revolt. I spent a few months in Kenya; in the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya region I researched the Mau Mau Revolt. It is true that not all the information is included in the article (i.e. Africans fighting in WWI and WWII were promised land and other rights) but you must remember this is only an encyclopedia giving a basic description of the entire event. A book with multiple volumes could be written about the Mau Mau Revolt and still miss important details, this is why the reader is expected to do research if they want more information. This article is accurate, the Mau Mau acted very much like savages, and many accounts talk about this. I personally have seen what Africans can do to a goat before they eat it, or while they eat it. I'm sure bestiality is uncommon in Kenya but I can guarantee it happens. Deeceevoice, please do not tell other people they are wrong, especially when you don't know what you are talking about.

The comments at the top of the page are from a draft that richly deserved the NPOV tag on it, imo. See this old revision to get a sense of what the early criticism was about. deeceevoice has commented on how the article has changed on my talk page. I know nothing about the World War info you mentioned. It would be great if you inserted it into the article. BanyanTree 05:56, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
sorry to be a drag but i'm a little uneasy about the NPOV of the article, largely the section entitled 'Political and social concessions by the British'. the language characterising the settlers is rather emotive.

It's easy enough to find out the state of the article when I first disparaged it by checking the article's edit history. It was a miserable piece of abjectly racist crap in September, but has been greatly improved by BanyanTree in the months since. And you want to talk about "savages"? And I suppose the British castrating the Kikuyu with pliers was "civilized"? deeceevoice 12:01, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

By 1953, almost half of all Kikuyus had no land claims at all. The results were worsening poverty, starvation, unemployment and overpopulation.

How did having no land claims lead to overpopulation?

This article is POV, and very anti British.

Thanks again

I know I thanked you on your talk page a long time ago, but I recently crossed this article again, Banyan, and impressed by how far it's come -- head and shoulders above the previous, racist crap. Thanks again. Well done. :-D deeceevoice 11:57, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Your a nutcase! Take some valium ok! The article was good originally! Too bad your mau mau's lost! ( 00:44, 12 January 2006 (UTC))

You're totally right. Maybe someday the British empire will collapse and Kenya will become independent. Hey, wait a minute... - BanyanTree 00:49, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I am right. The british empire didn't 'collapse'. Not from war anyway. Hello?! ( 02:29, 6 April 2006 (UTC)) (Romanyankee)

The nature of the Mau Ma uprising was not necessarily anti-colonial in nature guys.... it was mainly the result of economic grievances, whilst the political sphere of the uprising was generally limited. The Mau Mau fighters did commit atrocities to their opponents, this should be in no doubt, but the British actions were on occassion equally barbaric, just with the guise of legitimate, civilised behaviour. As a result of such events at Hola Camp, the Empire became embarrassing and in part, this can be seen to lead to Kenya's independence... (unsigned)

But the economic situation was a DIRECT result of colonisation - white land grabs, stupid laws prohibiting Africans from growing coffee, restrictive "pass" system... Bonfire elefantti (talk) 02:38, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Lari report

There is a likelyhood someone could come across a report written by a dutch socialist immediately after Lari massacre. If someone could find her work, it would form a good bases to those who would want to write about the Lari stuff. I haven't however found her name, but this is a good begining

Additional Reading

I highly recommend the book "Something of Value" by Robert Ruark (1955). It is a fabulously written novel which paints the Mau Mau Uprising exactly as it was; a response of a variety of different interest groups to colonisation. It is neither here nor there; the book demonstrates clear understanding of the situation from someone who, clearly, experienced the events themselves. It is a novel, but is so rich that it feels perfectly true. 09:36, 13 December 2005

An article in the Guardian by George Monbiot (The Turks haven't learned the British way of denying past atrocities) compares the way the Turkish government deals with its past with the way the British deal with their past genocides. Quote:

Thrown off their best land and deprived of political rights, the Kikuyu started to organise—some of them violently—against colonial rule. The British responded by driving up to 320,000 of them into concentration camps. Most of the remainder—more than a million—were held in “enclosed villages”. Prisoners were questioned with the help of “slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes.” British soldiers used a “metal castrating instrument” to cut off testicles and fingers. “By the time I cut his balls off,” one settler boasted, “he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket.” The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked “provided they were black.” Elkins’s evidence suggests that more than 100,000 Kikuyu were either killed or died of disease and starvation in the camps. David Anderson documents the hanging of 1,090 suspected rebels: far more than the French executed in Algeria. Thousands more were summarily executed by soldiers, who claimed they had “failed to halt” when challenged.

But the average British subject has no idea that such atrocities ever happened, while in Turkey everybody knows what has happened to the Armenians. —Babelfisch 08:09, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. This article needs to be expanded dramatically. Every American knows about the My Lai Massacre. How many in the UK know about the Hola Massacre? And that's just one example of British atrocity in Kenya. --Cultural Freedom talk 09:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

You're absolutely right about that- though I think it as much stems from a confused and problematic sense of identity as a deliberate attempt to forget on the part of everyday people. 'Britain' in some ways is ceasing to exist, and the history of the state of Britain- including Scotland and Wales, not just England- along with it. Regional identities such as with the growing expressions of Scottishness or Englishness are taking over and people (perhaps would like to) forget the whole empire ever happened. I don't think they have any monopoly over selective interpretation of their periods of shameful behaviour, isn't 'Thanksgiving' called 'The National Day of mourning' by native americans because of the Metacomet/wampanoag massacres? That might not be an appropriate example so I apologise if I've got my facts wrong, but you take my point. The Mau Mau's activities will inevitably be positive for some and negative for others, and both sides will pick the aspects that reinforce their opinion whilst ignoring inconvenient truths. I think more African history should be taught in Britain to reflect the rounded historical facts of British empire. Atillashardermate 12:04, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

PS- I agree that people should be taught more about things like the Hola massacre- and crucially what the reaction was at home, not to condemn their nation as some kind of pantomime villain; to see the whole picture of the past

Origin of Phrase

" Mau Mau " is an adverbial phrase in the Kikuyu language meaning "to eat ravenously, like a hyena". It was the name of a gang of Kikuyu thugs who terrorised the Kiambu area in about 1890.

Do you have a good reference for this? Many people have added alternate etymologies, but nobody seems to be able to add a citation so nothing can be confirmed. - BT 19:13, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

It occurs in a Kikuyu- English dictionary, possibly published by the Oxford University Press. In about 1970. Native speakers will probably say the same.

I googled two dictionaries that might fit this description. I don't suppose that you still have access to the dictionary and can provide the ISBN? I'm quite willing to start putting refs or demanding refs for each of the bulleted etymologies. - BT 13:01, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. I'm a native Kikuyu born and bred. There is no such word in the Kikuyu language. Doesn't matter what dictionaries written by the English say, though I don't know where the word came from. 11:22, 14 May 2007 (UTC) Ken T.G.Benson had the help of several native speakers of Kikuyu when compiling his Dictionary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, August 30, 2007 (UTC) Those writing in 2007 are unlikely to remember Kiambu in 1890. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

Credibility of source material is important. Early british publications on colonial matters contained a lot of misinformation and were unabashedly racist. The publications are no longer considered by scholars as "sources" worth citing. Let us focus on neutral source material that reflects progress made in society to date. DrJenkinsPhd (talk) 16:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Tendentious tone

Obviously this issue creates great passion, but a more obviously NPOV needs to be regained. The use of Elkins and Anderson is commendable, so long as it is understood that their research is not from a NPOV. The use of words such as "concentration camp" as a description of a detention camp is not neutral. Dismissing the atavistic elements of mau mau practice as preposterous is not neutral either. This whole article needs to be be re-worked and a lot more firm historical referencing done.Pabailie 15:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. The camps in which the Kikuyu were interned perfectly fit the definition of "concentration camp". There is no point in avoiding the phrase simply because it has negative connotations GreatGodOm 09:36, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Maintaining NPOV does not mean resorting to euphemisms. 'Concentration camp' is a historically apt description. 02:23, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Precisely. There is an attempt to sanitise this and describe anybody who does not accept the myths of the British maintaining "law and order" as not being neutral. The irony of British people trying to rule a place in another continent and then wondering why people cannot have a NPOV about the racist assumptions and superiority complex that underpins that rule over indigenous people (What would the British do if they were forced to live under a racist occupying régime?). That's before we get to the British torture chambers and the self-declared British "gestapo" who beat, persecuted and abused in every imaginable sense the unfortunately coloured people they had arrested - and we wont mention the euphemistically named British "emergency villages" where tens of thousands of non-whites, definitely non-whites, were concentrated and detained contrary to all international law at that time. The British rightwing have got away with this "white man's burden" ahistorical nonsense for far too long. Elkins and Anderson have done admirable jobs in exposing the lies. Dunlavin Green (talk) 02:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Casualty figures

The figure of 60 government casualty figures is so obviously wrong that I have removed it. The figures are well known and available from a host of sources.

The oathing practices of the Mau Mau are widely attested from many sources as well, although those sources tend to be pro-government. Nevertheless, the section on oathing is very weak and needs revising. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pabailie (talkcontribs) 13:09, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

If they are so well known, why don't you add them with a source? It's a wiki, after all. - BanyanTree 15:31, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I did and someone removed them. I shall try to put them on again, along with estimates for the numbers of security forces, although no-one seems to have kept reliable figures of the numbers of Army deployed; and it has recently emerged that Army casualty figures were not centrally recorded and may be inaccurate. Can I also caution people against a simplistic repetition of Caroline Elkins' figures - they are entirely conjectural, bases upon her own idiosyncratic reading of the census figures and her decision to include in her estimates all of those living in fortifies villages as political prisoners; a position that her critics have pointed out is simply incorrect. Pabailie 19:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello Pabailie, I think I'm the culprit for the removal. If you have reliable sources of the losses, by all means, don't be afraid to put them, but please mention the source (or the sources, if you have more than one), also putting the number of the page if it's a book. As for Elkins' figures, if you've got sources criticizing the numbers, lke a book review, you can also add it in the proper section that discusses the casualties, but always remember to source, per WP:V.--Aldux 20:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok, the figures are added in, so are the footnote references; I haved edited out most of the emotive, non neautral language of this article, and will to add in a number of citations / footnotes, when i get some time.Pabailie 01:45, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Speaking of casualties, does anyone else find it amusing that the number of rebel dead is sourced to a report from the "Government of Kenya, 1960", pre-independence, which is obviously the colonial administration? - BanyanTree 09:26, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I corrected the misrepresentation of the criticism of Elkins work. The reference for what some wikipedia editor called "considerable criticism" was two letters written by the same person to the letters page of literary journals. I left "considerable" in but pointed out that it was a single letter writer who made the referenced "considerable criticism". (talk) 01:10, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Casualties and Camps.

John Blacker reckons that the excess death toll is approx. 50, 000. I've added a reference to that effect. The figure from the Corfield report is inadequate even on its own terms; it does not include deaths in detention camps, nor the 1,090 executions during the Emergency.

The use of fortifed villages in the article is weasel wording. Elkins and others rightly distingush the punitive camps which were, quite simply, large prisons, from the emergency villages into which the Kikuyu civilian population was herded. The emergency villages were often new settlements, purpose-built for detention and supervision. The confinement of the Kikuyu civilian population in these villages restricted their access to farmland and clean water, which led to massive malnutrition. Elkins points this out, and Blacker's figures suggest that most of the victims were children. If, as the wikipedia article on concentration camps says, a concentration camp is a 'large detention center created for political opponents, aliens, specific ethnic [my emphasis] or religious groups, civilians of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, often during a war', the Emergency villages were concentration camps.

     You do realize that Elkins is a biased partisan, and cannot be treated as a neutral source?

::Really? Where is the proof that Elkins is biased? Thanks. ScottPAnderson (talk) 15:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

About John Blacker: Fact: John Blacker is former senior colonial demographic officer (1961-65) - directly implicated in the events. Fact: There was indeed a coverup of Britain's Nazi-style operations and Mass Murders (I have multiple sources from both sides). Given his personal interest in the colonial Government, how neutral can Blacker be? ScottPAnderson (talk) 15:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

The main article needs a section on both the Emergency villages and the detention camps. The detention camps are vital to the story, since this is where most of the atrocities were committed; the Emergency villages are essential because this is almost certainly where most civilian deaths occurred. (Hythlodayeus 20:01, 16 June 2007 (UTC))


The article just mentioned British atrocities. I felt this was betraying a NPOV so I also added some stuff about Mau Mau atrocities. Led125

Someone has added some stuff on the retaliation for the Lari Massacre. Please add that elesewhere. It has nothing to do with MAU MAU atrocities. (Add it in BRITISH atrocities).

It is important to note that the British atrocities were unsanctioned acts by individual solders or settlers, who may have had a personal grudge against the mau mau (e.g. a buddy being killed) and commited their acts completely of their own accord. In fact, the brass had issued stern warnings to the soldiers about this, and the U.K. cannot be held responsible for these people's actions.

Hi, I take it you undid my edit of the Lari massacre.

I reverted your edit for the following reasons: the second Lari massacre is directly relevant to the first, since it was a direct response to it; since the second massacre was an immediate reaction to the first, the events are best explained and understood by considering them together (most books handle them together, see Anderson 2005, for example); finally, because the paragraph as, it read , implied that the total number of casualties of the massacre was 120 (the official figure -released by the colonial administration- was 74; admittedly this could be wrong). Readers of wikipedia will presumably realise that the second Lari massacre was not a Mau Mau atrocity, since it is explicitly stated to be the work of colonial forces.

I note that you did not transfer the material on the second Lari massacre to 'British Atrocities', so it is easy to wonder if you meant it to disappear altogether.

Hythlodayeus 00:44, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I didn't remove it. Someone else did that. I have now transfered it to the British atrocities section (I also added European settlers and black loyalists because they fought for the British but were not actually British). I hope this solves any disagreements. Led125

I think this section has been edited incorrectly, I am wondering for instance why the last sentence reads the way it does the Mau Mau were Kikuyu so why would they be rounding them up into buildings and setting them ablaze...-- (talk) 23:36, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

A largely unreported and unacknowledged part of the Emergency - due to the ongoing internal colonization of Kenya - is the fight of Kenya's first peoples (mostly Ogiek) against the Mau-Mau. They understandly experienced Mau-Mau guerrilleros as - frequently brutal - intruders into their ancestral territorites, and thus easily sided with the British, especially with Kenya Regiment and pseudo-gangs. The contribution of Ogiek trackers and scouts, who knew their forest much better than any Mau-Mau fighhters, was crucial for the clean-up after Erskine's new strategy ("Operation Anvil") had vanquished the main forces of Mau-Mau. 8th December 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes and rewrite

I altered some stuff on the article, and a person essentially undid it, completely ignoring why I had made the changes. The virtual undo was made on the basis of a one line explanation of POV - yet none of the changes I made are substantial with that respect. I merely cite scholarly sources like historians Mark Curtis, Caroline Elkins and David Anderson. The person has also completely ignored my reasons for making one particular change, an important one, namely the removal of the Pumwani 'shallow graves' in the section on Mau Mau atrocities. The reason for my removing that, as I thought was perfectly clear from my comment when I made the edit, was becuase on the cited page of Anderson's book, p.185, THERE IS NO MENTION OF SHALLOW GRAVES WHATSOEVER. I didn't simply correct the page number because when I went to the index to look up all mentions of Pumwani, ON NONE OF THE PAGES REFERENCED WITH RESPECT TO PUMWANI WAS ANY MENTION WHATSOEVER. According to the index of Anderson's book, Pumwani gets a mention on pages 39, 220 and 352; ON NONE OF THESE PAGES IS THERE ANY MENTION WHATSOEVER OF SHALLOW GRAVES. Maybe it is somewhere else in the book, perhaps someone can find the correct page. For the moment, as far as I am concerned, the quote has just been made up. The person has also changed back some things only to introduce grammatical errors. I just can't see what's going on here: I've made no controversial changes, merely made the text less disjointed to read, and added some new citations from Mark Curtis, Caroline Elkins and David Anderson - all respected historians. I'm going to undo the undo, please can someone explain what I am supposed to have done wrong. Regards, User: 11:15, 10 October 2007

I removed the picture for the movie The Oath, since it was the wrong one, of a 2005 movie about the war in Chechnya by Khassan Baiev. Couldnt find any accurate picture. Scratchy —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Personal recollection

This was at the top of the article page but makes more sense here. Lisiate (talk) 00:35, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Imperial War Museum sound archive #30268.

Key words: Africa history/20th Century conflicts/Kenya/Mau Mau/terrorism/freedom fighters/colonial rule/Mt Kenya White Highlands/Mt Kenya Crown Forest.

In the hope it is of interest to historical research, The Imperial War Museum (London) recently recorded my recollections of 18 months in the Mt Kenya forest back in 1955/56 as a 17-year-old fighting the Mau Mau gangs above Nanyuki, Meru and Embu. I had been farming at around 8,900 feet on the edge of that forest when the request came from the Kenya authorities to report to Nairobi and collect my jungle outfit, Bren gun and Patchett machine carbines. I was then named Tracker Team Leader 12 (later Tracker 6 and finally Tracker 1) and given about 20 non-Mau Mau tribe askaris, mostly Kipsigis and Samburu and Kamba for continuous forest patrols.

The recordings extend over about 6 hours on 5 CDs archived as #30268. The Sound Archive telephone number at the Imperial War Museum is +44 20 7416 5365. Best contact would be Richard McDonough on

With kind regards.

Tim Symonds [email removed to avoid spam - Lisiate (talk)]

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Didn't the Luo also take part? They're not mentioned at all at present. Badagnani (talk) 06:10, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

The role of the Jaluo for the and in the Emergency has been comparatively sparsely researched, but William Ochieng' did some good work on the topic, e.g. in the Studies in Memory of Gideon Were. 8th December 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Hussein Onyango Obama was tortured?

The London Telephraph [2] is reporting that President Barack Obama is returning the bust of Winston Churchill, in part because his grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, was alledgely tortured during the Mau Mau uprising. Is that worthy to be incorporated or noteable enough?StreamingRadioGuide (talk) 06:51, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

You might want to go back and re-read that article, because you have completely misunderstood it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Southernbelle08 (talkcontribs) 00:51, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Etymology must move

I'm going to move the long etymology section to the end of the article. People who come hear to read about the uprising want to know what happened first - the origins of the word are secondary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ackees (talkcontribs) 13:49, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Stop using tribe

When I read about wales and other European nations they talk about the Welch people, the Welch Nation, etc. When it comes to Africa you hear about tribes. The Youruba Tribe, not you have 100 Million poeple in this group so why are they tribes? The people in Kenya are ethnic groups. not tribes.-- (talk) 12:45, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

You make a really good point and I have noticed it too. Sometimes it makes some sense (e.g. highly related subgroups of an ethnic group) but usually it does not. And they should reference certain groups in the UK as tribes (such as Liverpudlians) if they use it for African groups. Nakamura Mondo (talk) 11:59, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Connotation and Denotation

I don’t know if this has already been discussed, but the use of the word "insurgency" for Kenya revolutionaries gives the content of this article a rather dogmatic appeal. Considering the historical context of European colonialism, I don't believe whether a revolt of the colonized against European civil authority was legitimate or not is matter of fact, and using such a word for description does not aide in the article's factual objectivity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mdmjames (talkcontribs) 07:19, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

mau mau versus other african peoples

I think more should be told about the conflicts between the mau mau and other african peoples, because this is far more pertinent to Kenya's present day troubles (such as the post-election violence a couple of years ago) than the conflict between the mau mau and the British.

Certainly, all the written accounts, and all that I can remember people who were around in East Africa at the time saying to me, gave me an impression of the mau mau being feared by a very large proportion of their own people, and by just about all of the other African peoples in what's now known as "Kenya" and the countries around it.

Americans like to see British colonialism as an overweaning evil, but British rule did not lead to conflicts of this kind everywhere, not even in Africa, and one suspects that any causes to the conflict pre-dating British rule, are being studiously ignored. Probably, nobody outside Kenya would have a clue in any case.

This wasn't really about whether or not the British would cease to rule Kenya, from 1945 onwards it was long-term policy to get out of everywhere that could rule itself, as soon as it was possible (far too early in the case of Burma, as it turned out). What the mau-mau conflict was really all about, was who would rule Kenya after the British had gone.

That may be the most pertinent of the issues which this article, and this discussion, ignore.

Much depended on the timing of any independence process: In Burma, it was obvious to experts that rapid independence would lead to domination by the Burman minority, and thence to genocide amongst many, if not all, of Burma's other 36 races. The timing was determined by US Pressure on the Atlee government, experts, such as George Orwell were ignored, the Burmans dominated, they still do, and thanks to the predicted genocide, which has indeed happened, they are probably not an ethnic minority anymore.

Had Kenya become independent in the early fifties, or at any other time with the mau-mau still intact, would the outcome have been: peace, harmony and justice? Or an agonising, decades-long hell like Burma? You may get different answers from different African peoples within Kenya.

And what would the USA look like today if it had become independent AFTER us wicked British abolished slavery? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The involvement of other African people in the conflict is already sufficiently covered.
Actually, the general global consensus is that Mau Mau "insurgents" were, in fact, Freedom Fighters rebelling against the British invasion of Kenya. Authoritative and well researched sources clearly state that Europe invaded Africa, partitioned it, forcefully grabbed the natives property, and, when natives asked for freedom, the colonizers responded with all manner of human rights artrocities. The article as it currently stands looks fair and cites numerous credible references. DrJenkinsPhd (talk) 16:08, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

revert war

User:ScottPAnderson has changed the numbers of involved persons very substantially, without changing the citation. He has also changed the tone (with terms like 'freedom fighter' and 'heroic', which aren't NPOV). The large scale nature of the changes to the article make it hard to discuss. I am going to revert again, please introduce new changes slowly, one at a time, after providing sources. Saying 'Kenya Natl Archives' in an edit summary is not good enough, other editors need to be able to check them. Thanks. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 13:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Noted Squiddy. I will look into this. Most of the complaints appear to be for the earlier edit. Give me a few days to verify the details. DrJenkinsPhd (talk) 15:53, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Dr J, if you are going to be working on this article, you might as well start from the last version before Scott came and put in lots of uncited, POV stuff. I've reverted. Oh, and what I said to him is good general advice - change it a bit at a time, citing sources as you go. Making a large number of edits through the article in one go (or in a short space of time) doesn't allow other editors to collaborate. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 22:19, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Squiddy, Please call me Dr. Jenkins thank you. Kindly be tolerant of other views and stop vandalising the page. Just because you say something doesn't make it the absolute truth. We can do this by consensus - not force.DrJenkinsPhd (talk) 22:31, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I still have issue with the huge changes in figures based on a single source. While casualty estimates may vary, troop numbers should be on record, and should not waver between either 10000 or 50000. Clovis Sangrail (talk) 14:20, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I have investigated the figures, and their appears to be a discrepancy between those used in the article and those in the reference. The author states in ref 1 (below), the numbers interned were up to 50000, not 1-3 million. Ref 2 (below) quotes directly from the source used in the wikipedia page, and quotes a number of figures which contradict the edits by Scott, including 'up to 20,000' dead. This information is from the author Caroline Elkins, and so I dont see why it can possibly be so different from the figures quoted. Clovis Sangrail (talk) 14:59, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Ref 1. Title: THE STRUGGLE FOR MAU MAU REHABILITATION IN LATE COLONIAL KENYA. By: Elkins, Caroline, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 03617882, 2000, Vol. 33, Issue 1
  • Ref 2. Reviews the books "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya," by Caroline Elkins, and "Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire," by David Anderson.

Nation 2/21/2005, Vol. 280 Issue 7, p30-34

  • I have also found an interview by the reference author stating 50,000 deaths, not 3,000,000. [[3]]. Clovis Sangrail (talk) 16:57, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. TFOWRpropaganda 11:59, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Kenya Emergency (1952)Mau Mau Uprising — There have been two three page moves in quick succession recently. I'd like there to be a discussion, and a consensus for any change, before this devolves into chaos. My opinion on any page move is: neutral. TFOWRpropaganda 13:00, 23 May 2010 (UTC) TFOWRpropaganda 15:25, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Copy, paste and edit the following:

* '''Example, e.g. oppose/support'''. Example text explaining why you agree/disagree with the move. ~~~~

Oppose because:

1. "Mau Mau Uprising" gives more weight to the pro-colonial viewpoint.
2. Google hits on "Mau Mau uprising" are skewed (recursive counts) due to the regurgitation of previous title in other websites.
3. If Google hits are to be taken into account then:
1. About 3 Million hits[1] for "Emergency"+Kenya+1952
2. About 218000 hits for "Mau Mau Emergency" [2](compared to 101000 hits of "Mau Mau uprising"[3])
4. Kenya Emergency (1952) has neutral connotations and was used by both sides. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ScottPAnderson (talkcontribs) 14:23, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Comment This move request was flawed because it should had been done the other way around since the name Mau Mau Uprising has stood for over five years, while it was renamed single-handedly to Kenya Emergency (1952) only few days ago. Julius Sahara (talk)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move (2)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved (casting vote). Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:39, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

  • The move was supported only by a single user. Note that even the nomaninator (myself) opposed the move. Therefore I'm restoring the common name "Mau Mau". Julius Sahara (talk) 10:15, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Mau Mau UprisingKenya Emergency (1952) — I relisted this such that the long-standing name of the article is kept for now and the newly proposed name is requested. Personally, I do not support the move, since the term "Mau Mau" is ubiquitous and should be kept. Nevertheless, I'd like to have a discussion on the issue Julius Sahara (talk) 16:13, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Julius, all am asking for is a more substantive discussion that explains your position. Simply saying that the name should remain because it has always been there does not make sense!
Please, may I ask you again to state your reason for the revert and cite sources that prove "Mau Mau Uprising" is the ubiquitous term compared to say "Mau Mau Emergency" or "Kenya Emergency". ThanksScottPAnderson (talk) 16:22, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't care whether the name is Mau Mau Uprising, Mau Mau Rebellion, or Mau Mau Emergency, these are minor issues. But I really can't understand why you are trying to hide the very common word Mau Mau, which is used always when the subject is dealt with. Julius Sahara (talk) 16:36, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I support the move because, in addition to the other reasons I stated above:

  1. The term "Kenya Emergency" not only appears in credible sources, it also the official term of the conflict (both in Britain and in Kenya).
  2. Secondly, "Mau Mau uprising" is not used in any of the existing authoritative works on the conflict. Your claim about the ubiquity of the title is flawed because it is based on google search - which is naturally skewed to the original title (pages that simply regurgitate Wikipedia material). A quick check would confirm this!
  3. Your page move and edits have invalidated legitimate references and thus lower the quality of the article and trashing other people's attempts at improving the qulity of this article.
  4. As you have stated, you "don't care" about the name - yet you block a well supported and credible page move - made in good faith.
  5. You have not provided any support (citation) for your ubiquity assertion, whilst "Kenya Emergency" is already well supported.
  6. Finally, to address your concerns, I am not trying to hide the word "Mau Mau"; actually it apears many times in the article.

Thanks.ScottPAnderson (talk) 17:52, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm having a hard time with this as 'Mau Mau uprising' gets significantly more hits at Google Books "Mau%20Mau%20Uprising"&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=bks:1&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wp then does 'Kenya Emergency', which got less than 1000. It seems to be the most common name. Dougweller (talk) 18:22, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Hello - after protecting the page I had a look at this. Whilst you are quite correct that Google stats are a poor way to establish correct titles, "Kenya emergency"+1952 gets 700 Ghits, whilst "Mau Mau Uprising"+1952 gets 210,000. What is more persuasive is the Google Scholar stats (70 vs 275) with sources quoting "Mau Mau Uprising" including The Historian, African Studies Review, The English Historical Review and the Journal of African History. I think per WP:COMMONNAME and the fact that the article is well-founded at this title leads one to believe that the original name is correct here. ("Mau Mau Emergency", by the way, falls between the two in terms of general and Scholar search results). Black Kite (t) (c) 18:25, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks BlackKite and Dougweller. In the quest for NPOV we need to take into account Systemic Bias. In many cases WP:COMMONNAME historical accounts on Africa topics will favor a western viewpoint (hence WikiAfrica/WikiKenya Projects). Plus, the body of the article does include the "alternate names" of the conflict within it (thus being all inclusive without appearing biased). The word "uprising" is judgemental and takes the colonizer's viewpoint - retaining the bias.
May I suggest a compromise then of "Mau Mau Emergency"? Julius appears ok with it. What about you? Thanks. ScottPAnderson (talk) 19:14, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
PS, with respect to WP:COMMONNAME number of hits in google Scholar does not automatically validate Quality of the hits. WP:COMMONNAME is clear about quality taking precedence over pure quantity. What better source of Quality than Official Sources and sources from historians like David Anderson (among others) who specifically use the term "Kenya Emergency"?:
My opinion is that "Mau Mau Uprising" is a much more generally-used term and should be the title. I don't know in what way "Kenya emergency" is considered as "official" but that is not necessarily a valid criterion in WP discussions. (I initially hesitated to contribute on this topic because every time I do a certain editor seems to treat it as a personal attack. . .) Galloping Moses (talk) 18:51, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Galloping Moses, you do make personal attacks. To quote one of your recent comments: "Simply reverting these changes only makes you look stupid." Even in the comment above about a "certain editor", you have made a veiled personal attack indirectly citing my objections to your personal attacks. :-) ScottPAnderson (talk) 19:40, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
See what I mean ? . . Galloping Moses (talk) 19:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

ScottPAnderson has a legitimate point - in the official UK government records the situation was then and subsequently always referred to as "The Emergency" or "The Kenyan Emergency" (cf [4] - note this record will only be available for a few days due to the terms of the National Archive, but if anyone cares to search the UK National Archives most of the papers are available free to download). At the same time, this terminology can reasonably be described as weasel words. 'Mau Mau uprising' implies a lot of things that 'Kenyan Emergency' simply does not, and I would agree with anyone who says that there was a Colonial subtext to the favoured term (not implying this as a motive for the current change at all). The name is less significant in terms of usability given the existence of redirects, but even so, I would prefer to see the popular name remain. Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Hm. I've just realised I've made the same point as Scott, but the opposite way round. My understanding is that the British and Kenyan governments did not want to describe it as the 'Mau Mau Uprising' or similar, because this gave potential legitimacy to those they wished to suppress. The British government (and I am British, so no particular POV here) does have a habit of trying to classify things as 'police actions' (Aden? Cyprus?) when there is not obviously a criminal element involved.Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:37, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Not a big deal, but why was my post removed? Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I didn't deliberately remove it. I have other examples of the Mediawiki software occasionally achieving this effect in an edit conflict - we did ec and your post ought to have posted, but just occasionally the software will show the post as posted, but it will be removed when the other editor reposts their edit conflict. Apologies - I've reposted it below.Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:58, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation. I thought it must have been an ec, but have never had a post disappear before. Also, thanks for retrieving and reposting. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 21:11, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
No worries. I think you have made a good point below.Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:15, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Oppose This page is linked to from Ernest Hemingway's True at First Light, a book based on his account of a visit to Kenya during the uprisings. The book refers to the event as the Mau Mau Uprising; the introduction to the book, written by his son Patrick Hemingway who lived in Africa, uses the term Mau Mau Uprising; all the criticism I read on the event referred to the Mau Mau Uprising. A compromise would be to add the alternate description to the lead and to have a page with the alternate redirect to Mau Mau Uprising. I'm uninvolved, and have this page watched because I read it whilst working on the Hemingway piece. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:36, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Scott

My dearest Scott:

You can pick any decent source to combat your outrageous claims, but let's stick to one which you yourself find acceptable: 'What better source of Quality than [archives] and historians like David Anderson who specifically use the term "Kenya Emergency"?' Not a good start, Scott - Anderson does not 'use the term "Kenya Emergency"' in any blanket sense. To give other editors some examples, I'll stick simply to the first nine pages of this four-hundred-page book.

  • Page 1: he refers to 'the revolt in Kenya'; 'a rebellion'; 'the rebellion'
  • Page 2: 'the Mau Mau revolt'; 'the Mau Mau fighters who made this rebellion'; 'a dirty war'; 'armed rebellion'; 'the Mau Mau "emergency"' (note the word emergency is in inverted commas); 'Kenya's emergency' (the first time he uses the description);
  • Page 3: 'Kenya's rebellion'; 'the rebellion began slowly'
  • Page 4: 'the war properly got going'; 'the British decision to declare a state of emergency'; 'the revolt had lasted'; 'Contemporary accounts often cast it as a war against Kenya's white settlers... This misrepresents the character of the struggle. It was a war fought against white power, but it never became the race war the some thought it to be... Contrary to public perception, only thirty-two European settlers died in the rebellion, and there were fewer than two-hundred casualties among the British regiments and police who served in Kenya over these years. Yet more than 1800 African civilians are known to have been murdered by Mau Mau, and many hundreds more to have disappeared, their bodies never found. Rebel losses were far greater than those suffered by the British security forces. The official figures set the total number of Mau Mau rebevls killed in combat at 12,000, but the real figure is likely to have been more than 20,000.'
  • Page 5: 'The Mau Mau war would range'; 'the emergency was'; 'at the peak of the emergency'; 'during the course of the rebellion'; 'In the midst of the war';
  • Page 6: 'Wars of various kinds'; 'Even by the degrading standards of other wars'; 'all these conflicts'; 'the institutional bureaucratisation of war in Kenya'; 'The war against Mau Mau was fought'; 'in the Mau Mau emergency'
  • Page 7: 'over the course of the emergency'; 'the other colonial emergencies'; 'Mau Mau's war'
  • Page 8: 'the Mau Mau struggle'; 'the Mau Mau war'
  • Page 9: the title of the first chapter is 'The Hidden History of Anti-Colonial Rebellion'; 'leading up to the Mau Mau rebellion'

As for the other chapter headings and subheadings: 'Making a Rebellion'; 'Going to War'; 'General China's War: Freedom Fighters in the Forest'; 'Spoils of War'

You see that Scott likes his term 'freedom fighter': this is again ludicrous, and runs against the characterisation Anderson gives of the Mau Mau rebellion. In a couple of contexts—on one occasion seemingly sarcastically—Anderson refers to members of Mau Mau as 'freedom fighters' (see above chapter title; for sarcasm: 'Heroes' Acre, that little slice of Uhuru Park set aside as a memorial to the war, presents at opportunity to deepen division these divisions, or to try to heal them. The advocates of Heroes' Acre want to create a memorial to the 'freedom fighters', most obviously those who led the fight in the forest; but what about all of those others buried at Kamiti, in the unmarked pits reserved for the unclaimed bodies of the hanged? They surely belong in Heroes' Acre too. And what about the Loyalist dead, left to rot in shallow graves after Mau Mau's assassins had done their work?'); throughout the book, Anderson uses less loaded terms like 'rebels' and 'fighters' to characterise Mau Mau's militant members.

Anderson regards Mau Mau as a primarily a civil war within the Kikuyu - again, in complete contradiction to Scott's pathetic attempts to characterise Mau Mau as 'freedom fighters' whose violence led 'directly' to Kenyan independence.

Do I need to go on? Long and short, contrary to Scott's assertion that Anderson 'uses the term "Kenya Emergency"', he does not settle on any single term to characterise the conflict in 1950's Kenya, but rather seems to have a preference for terms such as 'rebellion', 'war' and 'revolt'. Scott should be banned from editing this page. Sh33pl0re (talk) 13:28, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Might be more effective to build the argument without the personal attacks. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:10, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring the attacks... (thanks Truthkeeper88) I have to thank Sh33pl0re for validating my point very neatly. The stronger and more resourced party to the conflict (not only militarily but propaganda-wise) was keen to deny the weaker party legitimacy. Thus the proliferation of the negative bias towards the African side of the conflict. ScottPAnderson (talk) 16:06, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear, Scott! No, no, no! I demonstrated the total opposite to that which was claimed, so stop switching playing fields. We're not interested at all in what terms the British colonial government and Kenyan fighters used to describe themselves, let alone their alleged reasons for doing so. We were (and are) interested in what term scholarship uses. In this context, you made the claim—without qualification—that Oxford scholar David Anderson used the term 'Kenya Emergency'. That is a categorial lie, as I have demonstrated with the above quotes from his book.

How much more discussion do we need? How many more times does this guy have to be exposed? Sh33pl0re (talk) 15:51, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Adopting the official title, "Kenya Emergency (1952)", would uphold the PRINCIPLE behind both the NPOV rules and the wikiAfrica/wikiKenya project. ScottPAnderson (talk) 15:12, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the first and last sentence in the interests of continuing a collegial discussion. I would recommend that Sh33pl0re not restore them, particularly the first, as it went rather beyond the merely uncivil. Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:25, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'll edit them out.

Now, let's see what Anderson has to say about Scott's beloved Kariuki memoir. Whilst noting that Kariuki's account 'set the benchmark' (p. 314), Anderson goes on to note that other personal accounts 'take a less ideological view' and that Karuiki's account is an 'idealised notion of "suffering for the nation"' (p. 315). So far from Kariuki's account being the standard 'scholarly' Kenyan study of Mau Mau (as Scott alledges), it is but one of a number of victims' accounts of British bruatlity - and an 'ideological' and 'idealised' account at that, according to Anderson.

To back up his desperate desire to have this article classify the Mau Mau uprising as 'ending the colonial invasion of Kenya', he cites some random website ( - truly a scholarly source!!) and page 303 of an enyclopaedia 'available on Google Books'. Conveniently, when I went to Google Books, 'Pages 303 and 304 are not shown in this preview.' Unfortunately, pages 302 and 305 are shown, which enables us to see that SCOTT'S CITED PAGE PAGE IS NOT EVEN REFERRING TO KENYA, BUT TALKING ABOUT CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE). How on earth can anybody take this guy seriously with such utterly, utterly pathetic and crude attempts at propaganda? Sh33pl0re (talk) 15:27, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Independence was a result of the war. This is common knowledge. It doesn't mean Britain lost militarily. They just changed their strategy in favor of a less violent approach to exploiting Africa's resources (i.e. the so called "interests"). Neither does it mean Mau Mau lost. They got what they were fighting for: "Land and Freedom". The conflict was just a dirty paradoxical war in which both sides lost and both sides won.ScottPAnderson (talk) 15:45, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyway this is turning into a forum Wikipedia:NOT#FORUMand it might help to stay focused on the main topic behind this discourse. Thanks. ScottPAnderson (talk) 15:45, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
PS: Sh33pl0re, Regarding your citation source concern. No worries, I have many more sources (scholarly). I'll add the best of them in a day or two for what you have highlighted (though its quite possible that other editors might add them in minutes or hours). Hope that helps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ScottPAnderson (talkcontribs) 15:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Scott also clearly loves Kenyan Professor Wunyabari O. Maloba. Scott writes admiringly that he 'earned his PHD doctorate degree in African history from Stanford University' and that he's 'credited as the first historian to publish a significant work on the Kenya Emergency and the KLFA. His work is considered an authoritative source on the subject.' Funny, then, that the title of Professor Maloba's 'authoritative study' is Mau Mau and Kenya, An Analysis of a Peasant Revolt [my emphasis] Sh33pl0re (talk) 16:17, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Sh33pl0re... I have to say that I find your constant personalizing of this move request extremely unappealing. I'm here from requested moves, thinking of closing out this request. To that end, I suppose you want your points to be persuasive. However, the condescending tone and constant sarcasm is so repelling, that your message is lost in it. You would do much better to cut all of that out completely. Surely this is possible.

My hunch is that you are correct regarding the article issue, but I'm completely disinclined from taking your side. You might want to think about that. Respect earns respect. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:14, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Section to catch references of the closed move discussion

Move protected

I have move protected the article for a week due to the move war that has occurred today. Per WP:PROTECT, this does not constitute an endorsement of the current title. Black Kite (t) (c) 16:38, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Scott's section 'KLFA or the Mau Mau?'

To save you flipping back and forth between here and the article, I'll post it in entirety:


The origin of the word "Mau Mau" is not known and its meaning is much debated. Depending on a person's point of view, the Mau Mau are either seen as a disorganized bunch of violent, troublesome, tribal savages, who refused to give up their land and freedom in exchange for Britain's gift of civilisation, and who were crushed by the British Army (a colonial apologist viewpoint); or, a determined, well organized, but ill-equipped Army of valiant heroes, who successfully resisted an invading empire, under harsh survival conditions, and without any foreign support (a predominantly African viewpoint).[3]

The KLFA soldiers never referred to themselves as the "Mau Mau" - preferring the Millitary title: "Kenya Land and Freedom Army" instead.[16][17]

- - -

[3] Wunyabari O. Maloba, Mau Mau and Kenya, An Analysis of a Peasant Revolt (Indiana University Press),December 1993
[16] Kabogo, Tabitha. Dedan Kimathi: A Biography. (East African Educational Publishers, Nairobi: 1992) p.23-25.
[17] Kariuki, J.M. “Mau Mau” Detainee: The Account by a Kenya African of his Experiences in Detention Camps 1953-1960. (London, Oxford: 1963) p.24.


This article is intolerable since Scott showed up, but this section in particular sheds light on his entire agenda. Firstly, Scott sets up a dichotomy regarding opinion about Mau Mau: either Mau Mau is a disorganized bunch of violent, troublesome, tribal savages, who refused to give up their land and freedom in exchange for Britain's gift of civilisation, and who were crushed by the British Army (a colonial apologist viewpoint), or it's a determined, well organized, but ill-equipped Army of valiant heroes, who successfully resisted an invading empire, under harsh survival conditions, and without any foreign support (a predominantly African viewpoint).

That's it according to Scott: you either agree with what he states without evidence is a predominantly African viewpoint, else you are an apologist for the brutality of British colonialism. Such a dichotomy is hopelessly simplistic (see below); you can draw your own conclusion as to why he might want to limit the field so drastically.

Note, too, Scott's sarcasm (Britain's gift of civilisation...) and his terminology (valiant heroes).

Let me introduce the third option mentioned by Nicolas van de Walle in his review of Elkins' and Anderson's books in Foreign Affairs, an option which Scott has closed down: Anderson's more sociological approach puts greater emphasis on intra-Kikuyu conflict. Recent scholarship agrees with Anderson's sociological approach. For example, you can check a recent study published by Cambridge University press: it's author is Professor Daniel Branch, and here is what he has to say (quoting from the book; see the pdf):

Editors around when Scott first showed up will be able to notice that one of the first things Scott did when he started editing here was minimise any reference to Kikuyu-on-Kikuyu violence, e.g. the first Lari massacre. As the article currently stands, the first Lari massacre is baldly introduced like this: Immediately after the discovery of the first Lari massacre... There is zero explicit discussion of the fact that this first massacre was carried out by Mau Mau against their fellow Kikuyu, let alone any detail of the unspeakable brutality of their attack. It is simply noted that Mau Mau militants were also guilty of human rights violations. There is no way for anyone unacquainted with the Mau Mau rebellion to know that the next sentence is the first Lari massacre: At Lari, on the night of March 25–26, 1953, Mau Mau forces herded 120 Kikuyu into huts and set fire to them.

What I am trying to say is that in his efforts to portray Mau Mau as a nationalistic, freedom-fighting force, Scott has—and has needed to—remove the possibility that far from the Mau Mau rebellion being an pouring of latent Kenyan nationalism, the conflict was in large part a civil war within Kikuyu society. The idea that all Kikuyu supported the Mau Mau and their violent methods is simply untenable in light of current scholarship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sh33pl0re (talkcontribs) 21:12, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

If you think I'm nit-picking about my example of the first Lari massacre, here are a few of the details (from Scott-approved Anderson, pp. 125–126):
On p. 127, Anderson writes that What shocked other Kikuyu most of all was the vast majority of those killed were women and children. This was appalling to all, and even shocked many Mau Mau supporters, some of whom would subsequently try to excuse the attack as 'a mistake'.
Again, it is important to note that the attackers themselves and the victims were all Kikuyu, and note also the varying opinions within not only the Kikuyu community as a whole, but also within the Mau Mau community itself, regarding events in Kenya during the period of the rebellion. Scott's drastic oversimplification is the means for his pro-Mau Mau ends. Sh33pl0re (talk) 21:55, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Evidence of Systemic bias. e.g. unchallenged "Terrorist" POV violation in "History of Kenya"

The whole History of Kenya reads like colonial propaganda. Example, the Mau Mau section: "A key watershed came from 1952 to 1956, during the "Mau Mau Uprising", a terrorist movement directed principally against the colonial government and the European settlers."

I just want to highlight this because there is more here than meets the eye. Some of those calling for "academic rigor" have been editors of the said article page and have done NOTHING to date to fix this clear violation.
I see this as strong evidence of pro-colonial sympathies heightening the possibility that the content deletions and unconstructive edits on this topic have a purpose - to advance a pro-colonial POV.
Rather than offer inline rebuttals or constructive improvements, the editors quickly delete/undo valid material that they dont agree with and replace it with their preference. There is no chance of a balanced and well argued article to develop largely because the apparent "consensus" will be skewed by design!
In this case the Numbers are working against Wikipedia (pro-colonial POV will always be majority) and all culture balancing efforts within the scope of wikipedia:wikiAfrica/wikipdia:wikiKenya will fail due to blanket application of the very same assumptions, policies and rules that perpetuate the wikipedia:systemic bias problem.
I dont know yet what can be done - but something needs to be done urgently. I feel like am wasting time here and Wikipedia's intention to balance the cultural outlook appears to be only half-hearted. Existing in rhetoric but lacking the implementation will. Thank you.

ScottPAnderson (talk) 21:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

'Some of those calling for "academic rigor" have been editors of the said article page and have done NOTHING to date to fix this clear violation.' Care to say who explicitly, Scott? Surely not me - anyone can quickly check my contribution history (I've not made that many edits) to verify I've NEVER edited the article in question, let alone added the term 'terrorist' to it (indeed, I've never even LOOKED at the article before!!!). Pretty desperate stuff now, Scott. Sh33pl0re (talk) 22:39, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I really think that it's important to focus on one article at a time. Am planning to get over here as soon as possible to have a look at the edit history, the article, and the sources to determine what's what, but simply can't get to that task immediately. Remember, Wikipedia doesn't have a deadline. The talk page is to discuss issues. This too will get sorted out. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 22:33, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry, Scott. I'm young and healthy, so I'll be ready to expose your transparent agenda and naked falsifications whenever you show up again. This article will remain permanently on my watchlist. You're the first person I've ever met on Wikipedia who actually tells outright lies—viz.that encyclopaedia entry—so you've achieved something today.Sh33pl0re (talk) 22:39, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Source verification

Please add the ISBNs to the book references, and if possible add convenience links. Please post here, if there are questions how to do so. Once done, I'll check the sources. Thanks. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 12:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


Currently, this article doesn't describe what occurred during the "uprising" or the "war". It has a Leading up to the Uprising section, and a "Reaction to the Uprising" section. There is almost no mention of warfare, just reference to British reactions to it, and to atrocities. Where in the country was the guerilla campaign kicked off, where was it strongest, what strategy did each side use as violence intensified? Where the insurgents organized by a central command or locally? How many loyalists fought against the Mau Mau? Where there other organized or impromptue militan Kenyan groups? Compared to the Algerian War, this article comes up way short.

"At no other time or place in the British empire was capital punishment meted out so liberally—the total is more than double the number executed by the French in Algeria"

This claim is not true, unless it refers solely to officially recorded executions in the 20th century. Ireland 1798 and India 1857 are two obvious examples. I see this is one of the few facts sourced, but that doesn't mean it wasn't stated accurately.

Just a few observations. The first half of the article is superb, minus the lack of citations. Just from 1952-1960 it seemed to be sorely lacking, IMO. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phi O'Byrne (talkcontribs) 21:44, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Because the British destroyed all factual evidence of their Nazi Holocaust-like activities before they left Kenya. The efforts to distort the truth and paint Mau Mau as the "bad guys" are humongous. Sources cited are 100% pro colonial. Independent sources like Elkins are quickly trashed by overzealous british neo-colonialists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Concentration camps during the British "Mau Mau" fake terrorism / false flag operations

During the 1954-60 Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya, camps were established to hold suspected rebels. It is unclear how many were held but estimates range up to 1.5 million - or practically the entire Kikuyu population. Between 130,000 and 300,000 are thought to have died as a result.[citation needed] Maltreatment is said to have included torture and summary executions. In addition as many as a million members of the Kikuyu tribe were subjected to ethnic cleansing. (Sources: . R. Edgerton, Mau Mau: An African Crucible, London 1990 page 180; C. Elkins,"Detention, Rehabilitation & the Destruction of Kikuyu Society" in Mau Mau and Nationhood, Editors Odhiambo and Lonsdale, Oxford 2003 pages 205-7; C. Elkins, "Britain's Gulag: The Brutal End Of Empire In Kenya", 2005). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Appalling mau mau promoting Nonsense

This article is a long rant against the British throwing accusation after damnation, all the while praising the mau mau as saints/freedom fighters/heroes. The mau mau mutilated, raped, murdered, tortured and maimed untold thousands. The article is massively reliant on a handful of hugely controversial books, the worst of which I see is Caroline Elkins, a much maligned and heavily criticised author of muck slinging anti-British sentiment.

Compare the article as it stands with that of 2 years ago. HERE:

It used to be a reasonably clear and balanced attempt at explaining the conflict. It is clear that the article was long since subjected to sustained sabotage and has become the disastrous, and near incomprehensible mess that it now is. This is a disgrace.

As it is so far gone, any attempt to clean it up will be met with auto revisions. I suggest massive help is needed to save this article ASAP. (talk) 00:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Woefully poor standard and Caroline Elkins

This article is in dire need of a full rewrite. It reads like the mau mau were freedom fighting democrats. But not only this, the article is near unreadable.

This is unacceptable.

The Elkins book is cited by this article some 17 times and used as a holy spring of 'facts', despite the vast disagreement from historians to the majority of the claims in the book.

Many of the Elkins 'facts' were utterly demolished in 2007 by the demographer John Blacker, in the Journal of African Affairs. Which you can see here (to get the full text download the PDF file at the bottom):

A damningly critical account of the apparent agenda of the Elkins book, which is cited by this article some 17 times, is by the Kenyan historian Bethwell Ogot (himself very critical of the British) in Journal of African History 46, 2005, page 502.

He says that the Mau Mau fighters:

Contrary to African customs and values, assaulted old people, women and children. The horrors they practiced included the following: decapitation and general mutilation of civilians, torture before murder, bodies bound up in sacks and dropped in wells, burning the victims alive, gouging out of eyes, splitting open the stomachs of pregnant women. No war can justify such gruesome actions. In man’s inhumanity to man there is no race distinction. The Africans were practising it on themselves. There was no reason and no restraint on both sides, although Elkins sees no atrocities on the part of Mau Mau.

Where is the balance in this article? It is an atrocity.

Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 20:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

---If no one has anything to add in defence of this mess, I intend to rectify this myself. Anyone?Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 22:52, 17 November 2010 (UTC)


Can we agree that the Elkins study, an expansion around her PhD thesis, is good for the detention camps? Blacker's criticism pertains only to her assertion that up to 300,000 people died—a criticism which is agreed to be correct by all relevant experts—and others have criticised her use of survivor testimony. HOWEVER, we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water: whole chapters of the book are built around the historical record of our detention camps. I've not seen any decent criticisms of her account of the Pipeline or the 'dilution' method, for example, both of which are solidly built on archival documents and interviews with the people responsible for them. Anyway, unless I hear otherwise, I'm happy to use the sections of her book dealing with the camps and screening and which rely on the historical record. Iloveandrea (talk) 16:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I posted this on another user's talkpage, but it's pertinent so I'm posting here too.

  • Elkins' claims regarding the excess mortality rate during the rebellion were simply ridiculous and have been solidly rebutted
  • Elkins' transparent pro-Mau-Mau bias throughout which, overall, meant the book suffered from a rather unscholarly lack of nuance
  • Elkins' essentially non-existent analysis of the roots and nature of the rebellion (compare with studies like Anderson's)
  • Elkins' reliance, at points, purely on interviews, forty or fifty years after the event, with survivors—sadly, no one's memory is so good that it can be trusted as a sole source of information fifty years later (there are other criticisms)

Many, many people were all too happy to draw the line there, however—that is to say, whilst there were some fair criticisms of Elkins' book, they were desperate to throw the baby out with the bath water. I've highlighted this myself; indeed, I've not seen a single person who rightly criticised parts of her book raise their voice against her outstanding analysis of our detention and interrogation systems. Most of those parts of the book are relentlessly poured straight out of the archives and the mouths of the people responsible. Again: at this point in time, there is no basis for any complaint whatsoever with those parts of her book. It's worth mentioning again that Elkins' PhD thesis was actually on the detention and interrogation systems, so the book has obviously been expanded around her doctorate. It's also worth a significant mention that David Anderson happily cited Elkin's PhD thesis in his book Histories of the Hanged. Iloveandrea (talk) 14:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Conscription and waged labour

Not that I can prove this, but here is some correspondence with Prof. Anderson:

Chiefs were given quotas for Carrier Corp recruitment, and powers to enforce recruitment by coercion. Those holding a labour ticket as farm employees were exempt from such forced recruitment.

The second statement is more obscure, I will concede, as I think I've implicitly assumed a few things as being established. Carrier Corp mortality was very high,. and over the longer run it is generally agreed that it had a negative impact upon African labour recruitment for other knids of wage employment through until at least 1923.

Farm labour at this time included some who were engaged only a waged labourers, but these weere a very small number, and they were generally only employed seasonally. The vast majority of those holding a farm labour ticket were in fact 'squatters', who were resident on the farm permanently and who took their reward in kind (use of land and (pasture, housing, etc) and not as a wage.

The impact of Carrier Corp death rates thus put a brake on recruitment of wage laboutr into govt employment, but it did not have a negative impact on squatter contracts.

He was replying to my question regarding something I'd read in Masters, Servants and Magistrates:

Dear Professor Anderson,

Just a very quick e-mail.

Was reading something of yours in Masters, Servants and Magistrates and was confused about something therein.

On page 505 I read, "Only those employed by Europeans were exempt from [forced] recruitment [e.g. for the detested Carrier Corps]... As a direct consequence, recruitment of farm workers increased markedly during the war"; however, on page 514 you write, "the high mortality of labor recruited for service in the Carrier Corps during the 1914-18 war... did little to encourage Africans into waged employment."

Where does my misunderstanding lay?

Anyway, you will see from the article in due course that I have incorporated his explanation and clarification into the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iloveandrea (talkcontribs) 20:03, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Systemic racist bias

In the same section there is a clear case of bias:

"At Lari, on the night of March 25–26, 1953, Mau Mau forces herded 120 Kikuyu into huts and set fire to them, killing any who attempted to escape"

then the next sentence says

"Kikuyu were also tortured, mutilated and murdered by Mau Mau in large numbers"

So those at Lari were not murdered but killed? Also "After the discovery of the Lari massacre (between 10 pm and dawn that night), colonial security services retaliated on Kikyu suspected of being Mau Mau. These were shot, and later denied burial. ... Thirty-two British civilians were murdered by Mau Mau militants." It is inevitable that most of the primary sources of that time will talk about the killing of Mau Mau and their supporters and the murder of British civilians and their supporters. But there is a bias in this article that is reflecting those primary sources. I would suggest that all references to murder are replaced with killed. We could go the other way and replace all killings with murder, but clearly some killings will have been lawful and so not murder under the law, and so it will be easier to use killed in place of murder to remove the systemic but unintentional racist bias in the article. -- PBS (talk) 20:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

A bunch of thugs kill civilians its murder. The government executes people for crimes then its a execution. Nothing racist involved, its just the way English works, many of the British soldiers were African. -- (talk) 10:28, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Obama's grandfather tortured by the British, Obama returns Churchill's bust from the White House

My addition of the torture of President Obama's grandfather in the concentration camps was undone by User:Outofsinc under the edit summary "Speculation and about how the president feels can't really be considered an legacy of the Mau Mau uprising". I feel legacy could be one of may appropriate titles for this content but I am open to put it under any other section. Outofsinc, please feel free to suggest where it should go. Zuggernaut (talk) 16:15, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

It may deserve mention that the president's granfather's third wife, claims her husband was tortured by the british, but as he was arrested in 49 and sentenced for two years, it's difficult to claim it was without charge, and wrong to claim Chruchill was prime minister at the time. It was Clement Atlee. Outofsinc (talk) 07:30, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

One thing I do agree with, Zug, is that there should be a Legacy section. The status of Mau Mau in Kenya, belongs in this. If it is to be reduced to trivia about returning a loaned item that was decorating the oval office, it belittles what was and remains a very important topic in Kenyan and British history Outofsinc (talk) 08:32, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Among the references you have blanked: Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill's second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President's grandfather.[5] The Mau Mau rebellion as significant in modern politics, this is vital. If you have a political opinion about this, you disbelieve the assertions that he was tortured or you find it "difficult to claim it was without charge", this is your right, but should not be part of the discussion of the Wikipedia page, and should not form part of your motive for blanking text. The sources speak for themselves. Cheers, DBaba (talk) 14:39, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I support DBaba in the restoring of this content because it is well sourced, very relevant to the article and it leads to an improved article. Outofsinc is questioning the sources (The Telegraph and The Daily Mail) - if he doubts the veracity of the sources then he should take it up with The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Zuggernaut (talk) 16:19, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Let's be clear about this, the allegation that Obama's grandfather was tortured is not from The Telegraph or the The Daily Mail. They both state that the allegations stem from Obama's grandfather's third wife. The text introduced into the article unlike the references used, did not state this. The allegation that president Obahma returned Churchill's bust, loaned by the british government to his predesesor because, his grandfather was mistreated by the british is completely unsupported. The Mau-mau rebellion covers the period of Atlee, Churchills second term, Eden and Macmillan. The allegation from Obamas grandfather's third wife of the mistreatment of her husband covers the years 1949-51 when Atlee was Prime Minister.

DBaba, you don't know my politics and likely never will, but you can't sentance someone to a term of imprisonment without charge. The source stated that obamas granfather was arrested in 1949 and sentanced to two years. The Mau-mau rebellion is indeed vital to medern Kenyan politics, the return of marble head is less so. Outofsinc (talk) 16:55, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Outofsinc - Neither The Daily Mail nor The Telegraph question the root of the story so while you are free to doubt the truthfulness of Obama's wife, we at Wikipedia aren't in that business. The New York times, the third source used here doesn't even talk about where the story comes from. It just states directly what is included in the article. Good to see you have stopped edit warring and you seem to be aware of the 3RR rule despite your short editing history. Indeed you are an advanced editor, your 10th edit being a vote at the FARC for the British Empire. Zuggernaut (talk) 17:17, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Can get the personal comments out of the way first please, I have not edit warred: I have reverted you zug once as per BRD, Dbaba reverted me once with no discussion, I reverted him with discussion and he reverted me again. The current version is your bold one, which either you or Dbaba should revert until the discussion reaches consensus. My editing history is no business of this discussion, and no business of yours. It is not the business of an encyclopedia to doubt anyones truthfulness, I myself have no opinion of the matter, but we should report what the sources say.

We should not question the root of the story but we should report where the story comes from. Should we say Obama's paternal grandfather's third wife is lying? no. Should we say Obama's paternal grandfather's third wife made the allegation yes. Should we say it is proven fact? not without a source. Including the sentance about the president returning the bust in the article is bound to lead readers to assume to two events are connected, therefore we need a source to categorically state they are (from I imagine either the president or some official from the white house) or state in the article who belives they are related (the author of the New York Times opinion piece perhaps). Outofsinc (talk) 18:54, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable. I didn't mean to suggest that what we have is ideal, only that this topic should be represented in the article. We should state that the media has speculated that the bust was removed because of Obama's grandfather's plight, right? DBaba (talk) 21:44, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks DBaba. My suggestion is,
First sentence – It has been alleged by his third wife that President Obama’s paternal grandfather was imprisoned for two years from 1949 and tortured by the British administration. (Covers what the first reference says about the torture allegation)

Second sentence (optional) – Barak Obama mentions in his memoirs that his grandfather was imprisoned for more that six months before being found innocent. (Also covered in the first reference and allows a second voice, arguably more noteworthy than his step grandmother. However if you prefer I’m happy to leave this sentence out.) Third Sentence – Several British journalists have speculated that the return of a bust of Winston Churchill, loaned by the British government to George W Bush, is related to his grandfather’s mistreatment. Churchill’s second term of office from 1951-55 occurred during the Mau Mau uprising. (The qualifier British journalist may be contentious, but angst over the “special relationship” does seem to be a strangely British preoccupation. If we can find a non-British journalist making the same speculation we can remove the qualifier.)

This now leaves three items for the legacy of the uprising. Firstly the 7,000 ex-detainees seeking compensation, Secondly speculation about Winston’s bust, and thirdly the changed face of Kenyan politics and self identity post independence. (This is currently in the section below.) My personal view is that the legacy section including independent Kenya is stronger without the speculation about Winston’s bust, but if we must include it the section should be in order of importance. First politics and self identity in independent Kenya, second the compensation quest of 7,000 former detainees and thirdly the speculation.Outofsinc (talk) 07:54, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
  1. There is no need to state whether grandfather Obama's wife was the second or thrid. It adds no value and serves no purpose.
  2. We should just attribute the fact to the media organizations and not individual journalists since these organizations are known to have excellent editorial oversight.
Here's my proposition:
According to major leading newspapers across the world like The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Times, etc, Barack Obama's grandfather was imprisoned without trial and tortured by the British during the Mau Mau uprising. Based on Barack Obama's memoirs, The Times concludes that Barack Obama is no admirer of British colonialism. Other media organizations suggest that the return of a bust of Winston Churchill, loaned by the British government to George W Bush, is related to his grandfather’s imprisonment and torture.
New sources: Zuggernaut (talk) 02:52, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Hello Zug, could you please revert your bold addition until we have reached consensus on the talk page?
I can sort of see the reason why you question why we need to mention which of Obama’s grandfather’s wife is the source of the allegation, but your proposal you say that the The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Times etc. are source, that’s not true, they report the source. The advantage of describing the family connection is it creates a link between the source of the story and Barak Obama the notable person.
I think that to suggest an American President is no admirer of British colonialism, is stating the obvious, modern British Prime ministers would claim not to be an admirer of British colonialism.
Saying that “Other media organizations suggest” rather than “Several British journalists have speculated” leads to questions such as other than who? Not the ones mentioned above? Not print media? Etc. how about “Some media organizations” suggest instead?
The repetition of torture as well as being ungainly creates an impression that only if his grandfather was tortured would Barak return the bust, a more general word such as mistreat, allows the speculation to be less specific, I don’t think we have a source yet that says Barak has alleged torture, but in his memoires he has certainly alleged many instances of mistreatment.
If we are going to include a conclusion based of the memoirs we should also say what they include about his grandfather's detention.
Compromise proposition:
The wife of Barak Obama’s grandfather has alleged that her husband was imprisoned without trial and tortured by the British during the Mau Mau uprising. President Obama mentions in his memoirs that his grandfather was imprisoned for six months before being found innocent, leading The Times to conclude that he is not an admirer of British Colonialism. Some media organizations suggest that the return of a bust of Winston Churchill, loaned by the British government to George W Bush, is related to his grandfather’s mistreatment.Outofsinc (talk) 07:45, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Further refinement:

Barak Obama's grandmother told him that her husband was imprisoned without trial and tortured by the British during the Mau Mau uprising.[1][2] President Obama mentions in his memoirs that the British imprisoned his grandfather for six months leading The Times to suggest that his antipathy towards British Colonialism may be strengthened due to this.[3] He was tried in a British court but no documentation of this can be found since the British destroyed court records older than six years.[1] Several prominent media organizations suggest that the return of a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House by Barak Obama, loaned by the British government to his predecessor, is related to his grandfather’s mistreatment.[4][5][6]

New source: Page 23 of Falk
If you are OK with this, feel free to replace the existing content with this version and the question about undoing my addition doesn't arise otherwise I will let someone else undo the edit since it is now technically not mine. Zuggernaut (talk) 02:36, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Hello Zug, thanks for letting me undo the edit; I do feel we are close to consensus now. I like your further refinement but we need to source the following:
1.) Have we a source that states the person making the allegations is Barak Obama’s grandmother? All the sources use the term Barak Obama’s paternal grandfather’s third wife. The two need not be the same, indeed the fact that it’s his third wife makes it unlikely by a factor of at least two to one. If not we should use the term grandfather’s third wife or grandfathers wife as a compromise.
2.) Have we a source that states his grandfather’s third wife told Barak Obama her husband was tortured and imprisoned without trial? The fact that in his memoirs Barak says his grandfather was found innocent suggests a trial took place. If we can’t find a source then we should say that the allegation was made, just as it was reported, without saying who it was made to.
3.) If we are to mention the memoirs why would we hide the fact that Barak says his grandfather was found innocent, you have provided a source for this? I don’t see what the article gains by omitting this other than a vague sense that there was no rule of law?
4.) Have we a source to state that the Times held a view on Barak’s admiration of the British Empire, if not whose view was reinforced?
5.) Who claims he was tried in a court (I mean a source not a Wiki editor), and who could not confirm it (source)?
6.) Do we have a source to state that the British destroyed court records in Kenya after six years?
7.) Do we have a source that states the return of the bust was insistent? I do have a problem with the concept of an insistent return “I demand you accept back this object that you kindly loaned me” is the closest I could come.
8.) That last sentence looks a bit long and unwieldy now, I don’t mind “several prominent” instead of “some” even though it suggests a value judgement on what is or isn’t prominent. I don’t mind mentioning the White House or using predecessor instead of George W Bush.
Could you précis what is contained on page 23 of the source you have linked? Using the link you provided only allows a preview up to page 19 for me, thanks.Outofsinc (talk) 07:48, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
First the relevant portion of text from page 23 of Falk since it addresses several of your points - 1, 2, 3, 5, 6.

Granny Sarah told Barak that his grandfather's arrest and imprisonment were due to a denunciation by an African whom Onyango had offended. He was detained for six months without trial. He was tried in a British court, but the records of his trial cannot be found, as the British destroyed all their colonial courts records that were over six years old. Onyango was tortured by the British and their Kenyan police. He returned home from prison skinny, dirty, and lousy and felt deeply humiliated. Onyango's helpless rage was boundless (Obama, 1995, pp. 417 - 418).

The first paragraph from The Times addresses point 4. We can drop the insistent since it was based on my (mis)understanding that Gordon Brown attempted twice to have the bust kept in the Oval office (not entirely unimaginable given that the British try to associate themselves and point to the cultural links with the Americans at every opportunity they get). In reality it was sent down the street to the British ambassador's office. But thanks for the funny analogy of an "insistent return", if made me laugh. I've added citations to the proposed content above and stricken out 'insistent'. Once you confirm you are on-board with this, we can move it to article space. Zuggernaut (talk) 16:12, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Great source, we should definitely use this. One minor point, how we should flag this reference on Wikipedia, it’s obviously on Faulk 2010 p23 but itself references Obama 2005 pp417-418? To me the fact that it references Obama directly makes it all the more compelling. Sorry to quibble but:
1.) Barak Obama’s grandfather’s third wife, Sarah Obama is not Barak Obama’s grandmother. He may refer to her as Granny Sarah in his memoires, but at least according to the Wikipedia article the relationship is clear.
2.) The source is clear that a trial took place “He was tried in a British court, but the records of the trial cannot be found” you’ve taken that source and said “The claim that he was tried in a British court cannot be confirmed” A much more accurate account would be “ …….. that her husband was imprisoned for six months and tortured before being tried in a British court.” We can then say that the records cannot be found as the authorities destroyed all colonial records over six years old.
3.) This is moot if we mention the trial as Obama does in the passage you found. The passage itself seems to suggest that he was released after the trial “He returned home skinny etc.”
4.) I see you’ve changed “….leading The Times to reinforce the view that he is not an admirer of British Colonialism.” To “….. leading The Times to suggest that his antipathy towards British Colonialism may be strengthened due to this.” Thanks this follows the source and makes much more sense.
5.) See above, the people who claim that he was tried in a court appear to be Barak Obama and Granny Sarah.
Thanks for the answeres for the other points! Outofsinc (talk) 08:01, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, we are referring to Falk and per practice, we use Falk (not Obama). Barak Obama, the most credible source, uses granny so we stick to that. BTW, Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources. I am OK to rephrase the trial/court content per your suggestion. (See above for the modified content starting at 'Further refinement') Zuggernaut (talk) 16:01, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining the practice for referencing Falk. You’re quite correct that Obama uses the phrase “Granny Sarah” but to use this as a reference to call her Obama’s grandmother (a blood relation), is wrong. I accept that we can’t use Wikipedia as a reliable source but Falk, who you do accept is a reliable source explains the relationship on pp18-19. Sarah Obama, who Barack calls “Granny Sarah” is his grandfather’s third wife. Barack’s grandmother is his grandfather’s second wife.
Thanks for modifying the trial records sentence, but again the source say’s colonial records. We infer these include all court records, but an encyclopaedia shouldn’t.

The first few sentences now seem dislocated and repetitious, do you agree that:

Sarah Obama, President Barack Obama’s grandfather’s third wife told him that her husband was imprisoned for six months and tortured before being tried in a British court. The records of the trial were not kept as colonial documents older six years were destroyed by the authorities. Based on the account contained within his memoirs, The Times suggest that his antipathy to British Colonialism may be increased due this. Several prominent media organizations suggest that the return of a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House by Barak Obama, loaned by the British government to his predecessor, is related to his grandfather’s mistreatment.
Could we use the below source, a speech made by Obama indicating at least some admiration to Churchill?
Outofsinc (talk) 13:21, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
This version looks good to me and we can move it to article space with a couple of minor changes. We should drop the 'third' and just say wife. We also need to say that the older documents were destroyed by the British to eliminate the slight chance of misunderstanding that they were destroyed by the Kenyans after independence. Obama's generic comment about Britain's finest hour can be more apt for the article on Winston Churchill although Britain's finest days were probably when it went through the Industrial Revolution which very roughly coincided with the building of the Empire. Zuggernaut (talk) 14:59, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Given that there is an agreement in principle and consensus seems to have been reached, I will wait for a day, then make the change. Zuggernaut (talk) 04:24, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry I am late to this, but I have to disagree with the "suggests" lines. First, the statement that "The Times suggest that his antipathy to British Colonialism may be increased due this." Where is that stated in the text? Zuggernaut writes above that the "first paragraph from The Times addresses" it. But the first paragraph is:

Barack Obama’s grandfather was imprisoned and brutally tortured by the British during the violent struggle for Kenyan independence, according to the Kenyan family of the US President-elect.

The article goes on to discuss the different accounts of the involvement of Barack Obama's grandfather and father in "the fight for Kenyan independence", but it never makes any references to Barack Obama's views about England or the British Empire.

Second, the sentence regarding Churchill's bust is pure speculation and should be removed. President George W. Bush was an admirer of Winston Churchill and had a bust of him put into the oval office. Here is how President Bush described Churchill when accepting the bust: "He knew what he believed, and he really kind of went after it in a way that seemed like a Texan to me."[7] It is unsurprising that President Obama would not identify with that sentiment and so it is unremarkable that he would replace the bust of his political opponent's hero with one of his own hero, Abraham Lincoln (who, coincidentally, was also from Illinois). This article in the Daily Mail also talks about how President Obama has changed the furniture, wall paper, and even the presidential seal in the Oval Office. This is all very routine when changing presidential administrations, there is no need to create theories about how Barack Obama may or may not feel about British imperialism 60 years ago to explain his actions.N8 f (talk) 09:14, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

The recently fixed citation should address some of your points. The others are based on Obama's memoirs in Falk. Zuggernaut (talk) 14:43, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

A lot of the artical is out of order according to the date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Notes and references section for Churchill bust content


The vast majority of sources state that the rebellion ended in 1956. ( (talk) 22:20, 12 June 2011 (UTC))

Please cite your source for the above claim.
1952, a start-date that you have no problem with using, is the beginning of the Emergency; 1960 was the end of the Emergency, hence using 1960 as the end-date is simply a matter of consistency. 1952–1956 was simply the period when the fighting was "at its worst", in Prof Anderson's words, as I've pointed out umpteen times before.
Can someone please ban this person from editing the article? Iloveandrea (talk) 19:13, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

The military campaign, known as the Kenyan Emergency, ended on 21 October 1956 according to all reliable sources. It's important the article mentions the fact that the terrorists were defeated by the end of 1956. ( (talk) 11:16, 16 June 2011 (UTC))

You have not addressed my original reply, but merely restated what you first wrote. Your use of the word "terrorists" is also revealing: anyone without an axe to grind never uses such a loaded term. Iloveandrea (talk) 16:57, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Please also note that the year 1956 is already mentioned in the article as follows: "Though Mau Mau was effectively crushed by 1956...."
Iloveandrea (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

They were terrorists by any definition, which is another reason why they were unable to capture widespread native support. I would also strongly question whether the terrorist campaign set the stage for Kenya's independence as the introduction states. This did not happen until December 1963, more than seven years after the rebellion had been completely defeated. ( (talk) 11:06, 23 June 2011 (UTC))

Re: 'terrorists': You've completely ignored what I said, viz. using less loaded terms.
Re: 'setting the stage': The most commonly held view is that British colonialism came to an end after the British government decided that its further continuation would entail "unacceptable" levels of force.
And who on EARTH (repeatedly, this is the second time I've seen you use the term) use the term 'native' when speaking of the indigenous population??? You sound like a district commissioner for gawd's sake, ha ha ha!Iloveandrea (talk) 00:17, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The article itself says historians are divided on whether the uprising had any affect on Kenya leaving the Empire in 1963, so this should be reflected in the introduction. ( (talk) 10:40, 3 July 2011 (UTC))

Problem with Enough Is Enough film link

The link to Enough Is Enough points to a disambiguation page. Said page does not have an entry for the film mentioned in the link. (talk) 08:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

uncited trivia

Hi - I moved this from the article its all uncited. IMO its trivia and such a lot of it demeans the focus of the article. I wouldn't replace it but if anyone thinks its valuable then feel free to cite it and replace it. Off2riorob (talk) 17:31, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

In popular culture


  • Enough Is Enough Reke Tumanwo, directed by kibAara Kaugi, the first ever Kenya Feature Film was released on 31 May 2005 at Nu Metro Cinema Ngong Road. Based on a real life story of a former Mau Mau Freedom Fighter Wamuyu wa Gakuru. Celebrates role of women in Mau Mau War
  • The 2005 short film The Oath, which used all Kenyan and Kenyan-based actors, some of whom are modern day descendants of the Mau Mau.
  • Something of Value (1957) directed by Richard Brooks and starring Rock Hudson, Dana Wynter and Sidney Poitier.
  • Mau Mau (1955 film) a shockumentary exploitation film directed by Elwood Price and narrated by Chet Huntley.
  • Simba (film) a 1955 film about the Mau Mau uprising starring Dirk Bogarde and directed by Brian Desmond Hurst.
  • The Mau Mau uprising is also highlighted in the movie "Safari (1956 film)" released in 1956 and starring Victor Mature and Janet Leigh. Mature is the white hunter bent on revenge against the Mau Maus, and Leigh the love interest he takes on safari. The movie was filmed in Kenya and directed by future James Bond film director Terence Young.
  • Africa Addio is a well-capitalized 1966 Italian "shock"-umentary covering the political transition from colonial- to post-colonial Africa. It includes a brief recapitulation of the Mau-Mau Rebellion and authentic scenes of its aftermath, including damage to white Highland farms and livestock, actual participants' sentencing in local British court, and their re-appearance at the popular celebration of Jomo Kenyatta's pardon of all Mau-Mau participants.
  • The uprising is at the core of the movie The Kitchen Toto, released in 1987 and starring Edwin Mahinda and Bob Peck.
  • Mau Mau, a 52-minute documentary, is Part II of The Black Man's Land Trilogy, which was broadcast on PBS in 1978 and continues to be widely used in university-level African Studies courses. The film is described as "a political analysis of Africa's first modern guerrilla war, and the myths that still surround it."
  • In the film Taxi Driver, there is a scene at a diner which several of the New York cabbies frequent. In this scene, Travis (Robert De Niro) describes an incident where a fleet driver got half his ear cut off. His fellow cabbie Wizard responds with "fuckin' Mau Mau land."


  • Lynn Michell's novel White Lies (2011) is set in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion and is based loosely on her own personal experience of living there for some years as a child.
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir (2010) stretches from the 1930s, as he grows up as one of two dozen siblings between four mothers, to the Mau Mau conflict in the 1950s.
  • Wangari Maathai's Unbowed: A Memoir (2006) discusses how the Mau Mau Uprising affected the author's childhood and divided the Kikuyu between those who fought on the Mau Mau side and those who fought for the British.
  • MG Vassanji's The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (2003) references the Mau Mau Uprising, including a depiction of a character taking the oath. The first part of the book is set during the time of the uprising, and the story interweaves the occurrences of the time into the lives of the characters.
  • Max Brooks' novel The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a parody of a survival guide, mentions an attack in Mombasa, Kenya in 1957, as learned by a British Army officer interrogating a captured Kikuyu rebel who witnessed the attack.
  • Mike Resnick's novel Paradise (1989), a science fiction allegory for the history of Kenya, features the Kalakala Emergency, an uprising of the native alien population of the planet Peponi against the human colonists.
  • Derek Walcott's poem 'A Far Cry From Africa' refers to the Kikuyu people and the Mau Mau revolution.
  • Victor Canning's novel Birdcage (1978) has as its hero a Richard Farley who suffers persistent nightmares brought on by the memory of seeing his parents' bodies after they were murdered by Mau Mau while he was a boy.
  • Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (1970) refers to the intimidation tactics employed in the uprising.
  • Two novels by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Weep Not, Child (1964) and A Grain of Wheat (1967), deal with the uprising from the Kikuyu perspective.
  • The novels Something of Value (1955) and Uhuru (1962) by Robert Ruark are written from the perspective of Dedan Kimathi (disguised as Kimani in the book) and his friend Peter. Something of Value was made into a 1957 movie.
  • Elspeth Huxley's novel A Thing to Love (1954) is set in Kenya during the uprising and presents it from the European perspective.
  • M.M. Kaye's 1958 novel "Death in Kenya". A murder mystery set in the Rift Valley in Kenya just after the Mau Mau Rebellion.


  • Hip-hop duo Dead Prez references the Mau Mau among many other black power movements in their song "I Have A Dream Too" from the album "Revolutionary But Gangsta'".
  • The Allan Sherman song "Hungarian Goulash" makes reference to the "jolly Mau-Maus" and how they are "eating missionary pie."
  • Blues showman Screamin' Jay Hawkins recorded a song titled "Feast of the Mau Mau"[1] on his 1969 album "...What That Is!", and released a double album of the same name in 1988, a UK re-release of "...What That Is!" and "Is In Your Mind" (1970).
  • The opening track of Paul Kantner's 1970 release Blows Against the Empire is called "Mau Mau (Amerikon)," which was written by Kantner, Grace Slick, and Joey Covington.
  • The Warren Zevon song Leave My Monkey Alone describes the fin de siecle of the colonial era in Kenya (and the end of the British Empire more generally), and explicitly references attacks by "the Mau Mau." In a late chorus, as well as at the end of the song, a deep bass chorus (obviously intended to sound African) sings over and over, in Swahili, "Mzungu Arudi Ulaya Ulaya, Mwafrika Mwafrika Apate Uhuru" -- a version of the phrase underlying the (alleged) MAU MAU acronym (modulo the two repeated words).

Use in popular culture

  • "The Mau Maus" were a fictitious political hip-hop group named in the 2000 Spike Lee film Bamboozled.
  • The Mau Mau Uprising is referenced by several flashbacks in the Magnum, P.I. episode "Black on White".


Is quoted here as if she were the only person to have any say on the matter. She is quoted here some twenty-five times despite being called "highly sensationalist", having a "pro-mau mau bias" and "not letting the facts in the way of a rant" by her peers. Not a universally acknowledged authority in any way, quite the opposite, how about some balance and less elkins reliance? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Please see my previous observations above, 35.1 CAROLINE ELKINS' BOOK. Iloveandrea (talk) 17:30, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

"Mau Mau" in vernacular American English

Sort of surprised there is no mention of the use of "mau mau" as a verb, meaning to terrorize or menace. Is this a result of the Mau Mau Uprising or the later American Gang? I definitely feel this is part of legacy of the group and is a part of the definition in Wikitionary. Stardude82 (talk) 19:51, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Leopard Men and rewards

As a serviceman I was told by a couple of hard bitten vetrens who'd fought in the Mau Mau campaign that the leaders of the Mau Mau were officially known as "Leopard Men" who specialised in atrocities.

There was also an official award of 15 pounds sterling awarded to any British trooper bringing in the head of a known Mau Mau Man.AT Kunene (talk) 09:52, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Winston Churchill

The return of the bust of Winston Churchill may well have a simpler explanation. Roosevelt frequently referred to Churchill as "that drunken bum" with his delusions of Britain as a major partner in WW2.

Churchill must have been an acute embarassment to Roosevelt and to others in post war years. Some forty years after Churchills death, now is the time to be rid of an embarassing reminder.AT Kunene (talk) 09:59, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

confusing infobox

In the infobox, what does the sentence "a total of 50,000 from all sides" - particularly the "from all sides" refer to? At best this is unclear.VolunteerMarek 20:52, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Looking through the article, it appears that there are some pretty serious POV problems. For example in the "Deaths" section it says:

The colonial government believed the number of Kenyans killed from all instances to be 11,503,[5] but David Anderson believes that the true figure is likely more than 20,000.[11] Elkins claims it is as high as 70,000 or that they could be in the hundreds of thousands.

From what I understand Elkins number concerns those killed by the British not "from all instances" (in fact this phrase appears to be used repeatedly to purposefully confuse the issue).

And then

Elkins' numbers, however, have been solidly rebutted by the British demographer John Blacker

"Solidly" rebutted? Oh really? According to who? Blacker? That's the source given, I don't see an independent source saying "solidly rebutted". This is classic POV pushing.

Likewise in the atrocities section, which, as an aside is horribly written and very confusing, the first line is "Atrocities were inflicted by all sides." and then very quickly "Mau Mau militants were guilty of widespread atrocities." More classic POV pushing.

Clean this mess up please.VolunteerMarek 21:00, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

"Clean this mess up please."
Mmm, I would simply reply with the words "shut up and do it yourself", but given your rather delusional take on things, I think I'd rather do it myself.
And saying the word 'Blacker' in a questioning, derisive tone of voice is not an argument; it's what is called an ad hominem. Who has a problem with Blacker's analysis? Some guy on Wikipedia called 'Volunteer Marek'? Wow, I sure hope David Anderson is aware of what an erudite scholar you are and consults you at the earliest opportunity. Certainly no one of any importance in a position to pass judgment has a problem with Blacker's analysis—perhaps you can cite me a counterexample? So, yes: Elkins death toll was "solidly rebutted" by Blacker (I was told off for using the word "refuted", which would be more accurate). Blacker performed an exhaustive analysis of the relevant census records to derive his figure, whilst Elkins figures were crudely derived, no attention to detail or nuance, and have been criticised by every leading authority, including John Lonsdale. Actually, last I saw, not even Elkins defends her ridiculous 100k+ assertion these days—see the article: she sticks to defending her analysis of the mechanics and brutality of the detention system, nothing else. Her study is good for the detention system and documenting the criminal actions of British officials, but not for anything else. ~ Iloveandrea (talk) 23:03, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Sigh. The problem is that the article uses Wikipedia voice to say Elkins' numbers, however, have been solidly rebutted by the British demographer John Blacker. There is no source for the "solidly" - this is just an opinion of whoever put that in there. The relative merits of Elkins vs. Blacker are your own opinion and hence constitute original research.
Additionally, the POV concerns have not even begun to be addressed - hence, please leave the tags in their place. I might as well add that your language here is pretty indicative of the POV you're trying to enforce on this article.VolunteerMarek 01:43, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Blah blah blah. I couldn't care less what you think, you arrogant fool. I'll find a source to pour scorn on Elkins numbers, if that's what it takes to shut you up. For now, I've deleted your precious POV tag, purely to irritate you. As for tone of voice: "Oh really? According to who? Blacker?" Do me a favour and take your sneering, magisterial self-regard somewhere else. Seriously, arrogance like you just simply does not merit being addressed in a civil manner. You think for a second I believe you have a doctorate in economics? Ha ha ha! Get a life! Anyone is anything they want to be on the internet, and anyone with real-life achievements won't feel the need to advertise them in daft boxes on their Wikipedia user-page. Can you imagine it? Ed Witten setting up a Wikipedia account and putting his IAS professorship and Fields Medal in an info box? Ha ha ha! Catch you later, Dreamer Marek! ~ Iloveandrea (talk) 06:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
You realize that you're in violation of several Wikipedia policies, WP:NPA, WP:POV, WP:AGF, WP:OR, WP:OWN. I am going to restore the tag and I will remove it once I'm satisfied that the POV problems have been addressed.VolunteerMarek 14:32, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Linking to

Uploading documents to scribd and linking to them is almost never acceptable. First off, scribd is not a reliable source: we have no assurance that the uploader did not modify the document prior to uploading. Second, most valid reference material on scribd is uploaded in violation of copyright. In particular, two reports linked are clearly marked Crown Copyright, 1925 and 1934 respectively. If you read the article on Crown Copyright, you will find that while they may be protected for as few as 50 years, depending on circumstance they could be protected for as long as 70 years after the death of the last contributor. The burden of showing that these particular documents are in the public domain falls on the editor wanting to link to them, and the link needs to be to a reliable site, not scribd. Yworo (talk) 16:25, 10 March 2012 (UTC)


Include a section on Mau Mau dress. And photos. There are no photos. In the Southern United States, Mau Mau Halloween costumes are on sale. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:16, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "song "Feast of the Mau Mau" (Jalacy J. Hawkins) - Ugugu" (in (in German)). 1969-06-23. Retrieved 2010-10-18.