Mekatilili wa Menza was a prophetess and fearless warrior who led her people, the Giriama, to rebel against British imperialism.
Born in the 1860s, she is remembered for slapping a British colonial administrator after disagreement over their imperialist policies and attempts to subdue them.
Mekatilili wa Menza the Mother of resistance, a heroine from Kenya, who rebelled and fought the colonial invaders. She once said ” I am not afraid to speak the truth and fight for my people. My powers come from Kaya, rooted in the spirits of our ancestors”
She was a distinguished, vocal and fearless leader and defended the rights of her people the Giriama by putting up a resistance from the white invaders of their land.
She led the Giriama uprising against the British colonist. Who were stealing big fertile lands from the people, collecting taxes from the people and their banning of the local brew palm wine(mnazi).
Mekatilili used kifudu dance which was performed during funeral ceremonies to mobilize the people to resist the colonial government or offer forced labor. An oath taking was administered to her followers to bind them to fight for their community and for their lands.
The first time she was captured by the white men and detained in kisii Kenya where she managed to find her way back home after five years and the struggle for freedom continued.
The second time she was captured and detained in Kismayu in Somali but she still managed to find her way back home and the struggle for liberation continued.
She died around 1925 and was buried at Bungale Ulaya Kwa Jele in Magarini constituency Malindi district. where a cultural festival was held in her honor.
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