Chief Njiiri wa Karanja and Kariuki Njiiri of Kenya
Chief Njiiri wa Karanja and Kariuki Njiiri of Kenya:
The accompanying collage is of Kenya's Chief Njiiri wa Karanja i.e. Chief Njiiri son of Karanja, left (image courtesy of the 2005 book "Histories of the Hanged" by David Anderson), and of right, courtesy of Getty Images, seated left, Jose Mathenge of Kenya, seated middle, Kariuki Njiiri of Kenya, and seated right, Fidel Castro of Cuba, in an image taken in Havana, Cuba, on 22nd August 1961. Chief Njiiri wa Karanja on the left of accompanying collage, was the father of Kariuki Njiiri in the right of accompanying collage.
Chief Njiiri wa Karanja was amongst the most prominent Colonial Chiefs in Colonial Kenya, after whom Njiiris High School in Muranga County Kenya is named. Chief Njiiri wa Karanja was a trusted operative of the British Colonial Government in Kenya, featuring at just about all major functions in Colonial Kenya in those days.
For example, between 1951 and 1964, six different British Secretaries of State for the Colonies, in a row, visited what was then known as the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya i.e. Jim Griffiths, Oliver Lyttelton, Alan Lennox-Boyd, Ian McLeod, Reginald Maulding and Duncan Sandys.
Oliver Lyttelton, mentioned above, when he visited Kenya in 1952, paid a personal courtesy call on Chief Njiiri wa Karanja at his home in Muranga.
Chief Njiiri wa Karanja was also amongst the distinguished guests who graced the official opening of Kenya's new Parliament buildings in 1954.
Chief Njiiri wa Karanja too, was also amongst the distinguished guests who met Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom, when Princess Margaret visited Kenya in October 1956. Princess Margaret (1930 to 2002), was the younger sister of current British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
The legend goes that Chief Njiiri wa Karanja mercilessly tortured Mau Mau suspects during the State of Emergency in Kenya of 1952 to 1959.
Idi Amin, President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, was a military officer with Colonial East Africa's Kings African Rifles (KAR), during Kenya's State of Emergency of 1952 to 1959, and Amin and a contingent of KAR soldiers from Uganda were brought into Kenya. The legend goes that one of Amin's favourite methods of torturing female Mau Mau suspects, was to push maize cobs up their vaginas.
It is unclear though, what the alleged favourite methods of torture of Chief Njiiri wa Karanja were.
Chief Njiiri wa Karanja's son Kariuki Njiiri, featured, as mentioned, on the right of accompanying collage, was also elitist. Kariuki Njiiri studied in America, where he met and got married to an African-American lady called Ruth, a natural beauty who made any male's head turn, boy, teenager or man, pretty, gorgeous and dazzling all in one, beautiful with or without makeup.
On completion of his studies in America, Kariuki Njiiri returned back to Kenya with Ruth, and Ruth Njiiri even once worked at State House Nairobi as President Jomo Kenyatta's secretary. Kariuki Njiiri and Ruth however eventually parted ways and she returned back to America with her children, one of whom was in Nairobi School. Ruth visited Kenya on holiday in 2005, and was featured in the "Sunday Nation," where she shared memoirs and photographs of her time in Kenya in the 1960s and the 1970s.
Kenya's Thomas Joseph Mboya presided over the famous student airlifts/student scholarships of young Kenyan men and women to various diverse American Universities, that formally began in 1960. The student airlifts/student scholarships, actually formally came into being when Thomas Joseph Mboya and then US Senator John F. Kennedy (later US President John F. Kennedy), met, on 26th July 1960, at Cape Cod, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, USA, the private family residence of America's famous Kennedy family.
Thomas Joseph Mboya later brought on board Kariuki Njiiri on the running of the iconic student airlifts/student scholarships, and there are even a number of images of those times of Thomas Joseph Mboya and Kariuki Njiiri, when they worked together on the student airlifts/student scholarships.
Now here's an interesting bit of Kenyan history, combining different facets of this posting:
Independent Kenya's first Prime Minister and first President, Jomo Kenyatta, was in prison in Lokitaung from 1953 to 1959, and in detention/restriction in Samburu from 1959 to 1961.
When it was announced that Jomo Kenyatta would be released from detention/restriction on 14th August 1961, Chief Njiiri wa Karanja took his transistor radio and smashed it to pieces on the ground, saying in Kikuyu that "he would never again listen to 'this thing' that 'convinced' us that Jomo Kenyatta would never come back alive, and was now again telling us that Jomo Kenyatta would be back, alive and kicking, on 14th August 1961."
At the time, Chief Njiiri wa Karanja's son, Kariuki Njiiri, was the representative for Kangema, Muranga, in Colonial Kenya's Legislative Council (LEGICO).
Many Black members of the Legislative Council (LEGICO) had pledged to vacate their seats in favour of Jomo Kenyatta upon his release from detention/restriction on 14th August 1961.
However none came forward as pledged when Jomo Kenyatta was released on 14th August 1961, none except Kariuki Njiiri.
Jomo Kenyatta thus began his career in Kenyan elective politics as the representative for Kangema, Muranga, in Colonial Kenya's Legislative Council (LEGICO), before switching base to his native Gatundu in Kiambu, Kenya at the May 1963 Kenyan elections, that laid the foundation for Kenya's attainment of independence from the British on 12th December 1963.
Both Chief Njiiri wa Karanja and his son Kariuki Njiiri however fizzled away gradually into oblivion in Independent Kenya, though the Njiiri family were granted a licence to operate supermarket outlets cum a clothing line, called Njiiris Supermarkets, that did well until they closed down sometime in the early 1990s. Chief Njiiri wa Karanja died of natural causes, while Kariuki Njiiri passed away in a road accident;