The Mau Mau myth: Kenyan political discourse in search of democracy

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Abstract

This article focuses on several issues concerning the invocation of the Mau Mau myth and its permanence in Kenyan political discourse since independence. The emphasis is on the fight for democracy that has taken place since 1988. The concept of myth as well as the related notion of historical and common memory is considered within the framework of the various interpretations of the Mau Mau. The main section addresses the ongoing contest over the past between the KANU (Kenya African National Union) ruling party, and both the formal and the informal opposition. The manner with which the myth was manipulated is traced as well as the motives for those manipulations and their outcome. The analysis centers around the concept of the Mau Mau as both the stage and the language of the political debate in the 1990s. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-131
Number of pages31
JournalCahiers d'Etudes Africaines
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

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