See this Rasta with Jomo Kenyatta here? That’s Field Marshal Musa Mwariama. While Kenyatta was leading the war for independence in offices, Mwariama was leading the Mau Mau in Meru. He was part of the core Mau Mau leadership, with Dedan Kimathi and General China. He is the highest-ranking Mau Mau who survived the war in the forests. Badass, right?
But if he eluded the jaws of the colonialists, he succumbed to a different set of jaws in 1989. Fighting. Not in the forest, but in the grasslands of Ukambani, where he was visiting a friend. His friend had suffered a snake bite and Mwariama heroically tried to save his life by sucking out the venom from his wound. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. He died, aged 61, saving someone, as if independence wasn’t enough! Hero!
I spoke to his aide in the forest the other day about how he spent his time after independence. With tears in her eyes, she told me:
While the others were given land and government positions in Nairobi, Mwariama was made an assistant chief, and given 15 acres of land in Timau which was a loan that he was supposed to pay back to the government.”
That;s right! All he got from the government was the Order of Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) and a job as an Assistant Chief! Seems to me like he was ripped off. The government should have appreciated him better for what did for all of us. He should have become the Major General or something, aiiih!!
Anyways, that doesn’t make him a lesser hero. Musa Mwariama is our hero this Mashujaa Day, and forever. We honour him and the other Field Marshal from Meru, Baimungi Marete, who was infamously killed by the post independence Kenyan government. Story for another day.