Mekatilili Wa Menza (Makatilili)
Art by Cassaundra A Sloan (tumblr)
By 1913, British occupation of coastal Kenya had led to a colonial hut tax.  Non-payment of the tax resulted in forced labor in British owned sisal and rubber plantations.  Mekatilili stood against the British and the corrupt headmen who supported these policies.  A skilled orator, she travelled from village to village to round up support for rebellion.  To spread her message, Mekatilili also danced kifudu, a sacred funeral dance, at her public meetings.

Mekatilili was arrested by the British and exiled hundreds of miles away. Five years later, she returned to her native area where she continued to oppose the imposition of colonial policies and ordinances.

Mekatilili Wa Menza (Makatilili)

Art by Cassaundra A Sloan (tumblr)

By 1913, British occupation of coastal Kenya had led to a colonial hut tax.  Non-payment of the tax resulted in forced labor in British owned sisal and rubber plantations.  Mekatilili stood against the British and the corrupt headmen who supported these policies.  A skilled orator, she travelled from village to village to round up support for rebellion.  To spread her message, Mekatilili also danced kifudu, a sacred funeral dance, at her public meetings.

Mekatilili was arrested by the British and exiled hundreds of miles away. Five years later, she returned to her native area where she continued to oppose the imposition of colonial policies and ordinances.