The Mau Mau Rebellion
This page specifically focuses on the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. The Mau Mau uprising was a significant turning point in Kenyan history and a key element in Kenya’s path to independence from British colonization.
The following resources are mixed media to help you better understand and teach the information about the Mau Mau rebellion. The materials are organized in sections based on content and media type. Please click the links under each section header to access each resource.
- Mau Mau Powerpoint Overview
A summary of the Mau Mau rebellion, also providing a brief background about African resistance to colonialism, which is critical to understanding Kenya’s independence from British colonization. This resource includes Mau Mau propaganda posters and photographs from the time.
- Colonized Women Talk Back Handout
This activity is designed for middle/high school students, allowing each student to step into the shoes of a colonized African woman. It is an empowering way to help students see the everyday struggles that colonized African women endured and the diverse ways they resisted and rebelled against oppressive systems.
- Mau Mau Primary Source Perspectives
Two sources presenting different understandings of the Mau Mau–a pro-colonialist’s perspective versus a political activist’s perspective. This resource is designed to help students understand and compare two different views on colonialism. It is crucial that teachers approach the subject in a non-biased way, teaching both sides of the story to give students a full understanding of the topic.
- Mau Mau Rebellion Reading Worksheet
This is a homework worksheet for students to ensure that they understand the conditions for Africans under colonialism and the reasons behind the Mau Mau rebellion.
- Mau Mau Warrior Oath
A resource demonstrating what a Mau Mau warrior stands for. The oath of the Mau Mau warrior enables students and teachers to see what the Mau Mau believed they were fighting for.
- The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi (Chapter 1)
This is the first chapter of The Mzungu Boy (copyright 2005) by Meja Mwangi. It is an elementary-level fiction book that contextualizes the conditions of Kenyans at the time of the rebeliion and offers a unique window into the lived experiences during the rebellion. It is a valuable resource for middle/high school students. Reproduced with permission from Groundwood Books Limited, Toronto. www.groundwoodbooks.com
- Mzungu Boy Book Reviews
Meja Mwangi’s work focuses on the Mau Mau and the struggle against colonial rule. These two book reviews explain why the book The Mzungu Boy is vital for students to understand the impact of colonialism on Kenyan youth before and during the Mau Mau uprising.
- Life Magazine 1953: Mau Mau
Article from Life Magazine 1953 about the conflict over land and the growing resentment between the Kenyans and the British colonialists. This is an excellent resource because it is from 1953, the year the uprisings began. The cartoons, ads and content come together to create an image of what Kenya was like at the time the Mau Mau rebellion began.
- The Guardian: Mau Mau
In this 2015 piece, Kenyans attempt to sue the UK government for compensation due to abuse during the Mau Mau uprisings. Useful article that ties today’s events to the historical events of the Mau Mau rebellion. Students and teachers can understand the effects of colonialism and how they are still linger today.
- BBC: Mau Mau Today
A BBC news article from 2013 that brings to light the torture and abuse of Kenyans by British colonial forces during the Mau Mau uprising. Victims are to be compensated by the UK government. A very useful resource – the idea that colonial powers admitted abuse of Kenyans helps students see the justification behind the Mau Mau uprisings.
- Mau Mau Uprising Propaganda
This mid-twentieth century British propaganda video portrays the Mau Mau as inferior terrorists who resented the standards of living of colonialists.
- Trevor Noah on British Colonialism
Stand up comedian and host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah discusses British colonialism.