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The Chief Mau Mau Propagandist: Experiences that Prompted Gakaara wa Wanjau into Anti-Colonial Literary Activism


This article examines the personal experiences of Gakaara wa Wanjau that influenced his political literary activism during the colonial period. The paper is informed by Relative Deprivation Theory. It demonstrates that Gakaara wa Wanjau was “The Chief Mau Mau Propagandist” as the British colonial authorities termed him. The paper opines that literary activism was crucial to the struggle for the attainment of the independence of Kenya. His literary works and collection of songs shaped the political consciousness of the Mau Mau fighters. The study concludes that he was a unique literary political activist who was able to take advantage of his contemporary issues to try to decolonize the African mind. Material for the article is derived from existing works, archival research and oral interviews. The study contributes to the enriching of the Mau Mau historiography in Kenya.


Colonialism, colonialist, community, decolonize, freedom struggle, political consciousness, and unity.

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