NBM OF AFRICA

DEDAN KIMATHI WACIURI

Dedan Kimathi Waciuri (31 October 1920 – 18 February 1957), born Kimathi wa Waciuri in what was then British Kenya, was the senior military and spiritual leader of the Mau Mau Uprising. Widely regarded as a revolutionary leader, he led the armed military struggle against the British colonial regime in Kenya in the 1950s until his capture in 1956 and execution in 1957. Kimathi is credited with leading efforts to create formal military structures within the Mau Mau, and convening a war council in 1953. He, along with Musa Mwariama and Muthoni Kirima, was one of three Field Marshals.

Kenyan nationalists view him as the heroic figurehead of the Kenyan freedom struggle against British colonial rule, while the British government saw him as a terrorist. Despite being viewed with disdain by the first two presidents of independent Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi, Kimathi and his fellow Mau Mau rebels were officially recognised as heroes in the struggle for Kenyan independence under the Mwai Kibaki administration, culminating in the unveiling of a Kimathi statue in 2007. This was reinforced by the passage of a new Constitution in 2010 calling for recognition of national heroes.

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