Digital Fine Art Print
Size: 29,7 x 42 cm
Bungale is a town located in the Malindi district of Kenya, on the road of safaris.
Between August 12th and 15th, the #giriama people (a subgroup of the Mijikenda people) in collaboration with #MADCA, (Malindi District Cultural Association) a cultural association that organizes the event every year, celebrate Mekatilili Wa Menza, the young guerrilla woman who liberated them from British colonization.
She was born in the 1940s with the exact date unknown, during the colonial period in which the English began to install their government in Kenya.
Mekatilili Wa Menza was the only woman in Giriama to resist.
She considered the forced unpaid labor and the lack of respect for local cultures as a form of #slavery.
Through her strength and bravery she risked physical danger and imprisonment as she denounced local leaders who were cooperating with the colonizers and concentrated her efforts on mobilizing women, encouraging them to refuse to send their sons to fight for the British during the First World War.
Unfortunately, there are few texts from this period dealing with the experiences of women during anti-colonial struggles. Between 1913 - 1914, Mekatilili Wa Menza fought and led the Giriama people for culture, to try to unite the peoples.
Her strategy was to dance.
She used dance to convince people to resist and refuse the English power.
Captured and deported to Mumias in October 1913, both were sentenced to five years in prison but managed to escape to continue the resistance. They were captured once more in northern Somalia while still escaping the authorities.
They then asked for and obtained a truce with the government.
She settled in Malindi, Mekatilili Wa Menza but then returned to Bungale, where she died in 1925 at the age of 70.
She was recognized as the first Mashujaa (“heroine” in #swahili) on October 20, 2010, the day her statue was erected in the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.
Although there is very little information about her, the community has decided to memorialize her story and to infuse her ideals and strength as an essential aspect of the community.
This time it is a pacifist struggle.