Francis Thuo Kiai


I was born 67 years ago in Thika and was the second born in a family of eight During my early years I left Thika and went to live with my grandmother in Nairobi in the eastlands in what today is Majengo Estate. I went to school for two years only and can read and speak some Kiswahili. During my early years I worked in the coffee estates owned by white settlers. By then a 20 kg debe went for a 10 cents coin while a months pay was Ksh. 3.00. However essential commodities were cheaper as a kilo of sugar sold for 20 cents.

My parents were staunch catholics who brought me up with a christian foundation and was baptised in the early 70s. Between 1954 and 1957, I was detained and jailed in several jails for undertaking and administering oaths to the members of Mau Mau. This was the force behind Kenya`s struggle for independence. In the jails we were overworked and thoroughly beaten but no one dared give out the secrets as this was considered sacred and one would rather be killed. I was also a member of Kenya African Union (K.A.U.). As we fought for independence, we waited with anticipation for the fruits of our labour and regaining our land which the colonialists had taken forcefully fom us. We also wished to see the fighting and suffering come to an end and were indeed happy when freedom was finally granted in 1963. Those were my happiest moments.

However, things never went as we expected. Instead of being rewarded by regaining our land, we were asked to buy it from the colonialists. This was very disgusting and frustating.

I got nothing out of the struggle but have managed to buy myself a piece of land through a co-operative  and savings society. We are constantly harssed by the Provincial Administration namely the chief . I am still bitter when I remember those days of suffering and detention. It is even worse to see people who sided with the colonialists during the struggle (home-guards) enjoy and destroy what we fought. These were brutal and immoral people whom we despised so much. They beat us mercilessly forcing adults and childen, men and women strip naked together in the pretexts of conducting searches. I am equally sad that the generations at present can not be looked upon to reverse the order. Our youths are sunk into drugs and very much after money. This is evident during elections where they are offered money to vote for undeserving leaders.  

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