The hero of independence missing from history books


There is a man turning in his grave this very moment. The man is among the toughest sons and daughters of Adam and his rib Eve who sojourned this earth in the last millennium. The said man went by the name of Mung’aru wa Nderi or General Sungura. He also happened to be grandfather to Wizard son of Mama Wizzy among several other Kenyans. If you think that Wa Nderi was tough just for being the stem of the family tree of one of the greatest hawkers of this nation then you are wrong.

Not only did Wa Nderi play a vital role in reclaiming this nation from the likes of Sir Evelyin Baring, he did so alongside such greats as Dedan Kimathi and General China. He was General Sungura because while others like Kenyatta, Ngei and Kimathi got caught he still managed to dodge the white man.


I know you are wondering why your history teacher forgot to mention General Sungura. You are also wondering whether Google has started forgetting because it gives no results for General Sungura. Well, your teacher did not forget and Google still has its wits because the truth lies elsewhere.

I once confronted Vasco da Gama, my history teacher, for what I considered a major omission. This is because while he sang praises for other freedom fighters he did not mention General Sungura. His answer was shocking. He said things to the effect that he had seen many books but he was yet to come across a foot soldier by the name of Sungura, let alone a general. He confessed that the closest he had come to such a name was in ‘The Hare and the Hyena’ stories.

The moment I arrived home I informed Wa Nderi about the situation.
“Forget the White man’s books,” he had barked. “They are just lies.”
He told me serious things to the effect that but for his advice to Kenyatta the attainment of uhuru might have delayed for months if not years. He was the best because, unlike Kenyatta who had seen many books, Wa Nderi never saw the inside of a classroom.

Wa Nderi released a war cry and proceeded to count the Home Guards he had reunited with their creator. He was about to start ticking off his toes when I interrupted.
“You are missing from books written by Africans too.”

Book, Read, Old, Literature, Pages

“Really?’ He looked as if he would cry and said: “Young man, rigging didn’t start yesterday.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I have reasons to belief Wa Nderi. For one, he was a crossbreed of Hitler and Idi Amin. He was ever quick to point out that he never engaged in small battles and that he was ever ready to face any man, day or night. According to him, he had learnt and perfected deadly war tactics while dealing with mbeberu, tactics so lethal that if applied on an ordinary mortal were a sure ticket to the grave. Unfortunately, Wa Nderi died before I could witness a demonstration of the said moves.

In a manner reserved only to tough men in his day, Wa Nderi executed the order given to his great grand parents to fill the earth without fear or favour. He did it so thoroughly that his immediate family could constitute two football teams, two linesmen, a referee and a sizable audience. He was lucky because the gospel of family planning was yet to reach Kiandutu.

Wa Nderi was a mheshimiwa in his own right. While the rest of us toiled, his task was to keep various passbooks and to present himself to the cashier to withdraw money. It was his duty too to know where the money went. If he drunk all the money you didn’t call him wamunyota. Instead you smiled dutifully and assured him that you will work harder so that the next time he visits the bank he would find enough chapaa to last him three lifetimes.

What I am trying to tell you is that Wa Nderi was tougher than Tinga because when he said ‘rigging’ no one dared say ‘liar.’ Doing so would have either led to excommunication or attracted his deadliest missile in the form of a curse. In Kiandutu a curse was worse than Ebola and Boko Haram combined and that is why everyone lied low like an envelope.

I cannot remember Wa Nderi walking from the gate to his maskan from taking a swallow. This is because when he arrived at the gate he unleashed a cry as if announcing the Third World War. He then decided to faint but left one eye open. The cry did not mean that Wa Nderi was about to kick the bucket. Neither did it mean that he had spotted cattle rustlers. It meant that the cockerel of cockerels was home and that his legs had gone on holiday. You would then see some fellows running with a wheelbarrow towards the source of the wail. On hearing the sound of the rescue team Wa Nderi would close the other eye and begin to snore. A near-dead Wa Nderi would then be ferried to his maskan. Because the wheelbarrow served this purpose only it was known as Wa Nderi Express or simply the ‘ambulance.’

Wheelbarrow, Farm, Crap, Agriculture

Believe me, Wa Nderi was just the guy to terrorize mbeberu to go back home. He could have lied to me, but then he could have told the truth in which case history will certainly judge historians who chose to rig him out of history books harshly.

In the meantime, I appeal to the powers that be to remember General Sungura when addressing historical injustices because only then can he rest in peace.

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