Schisms of pre-independence nationalist movement: Impediments to nascent post-colonial Kenya’s nation-state formation



Cacophony, Disenchantment, Discordance, Insurgence


The decade between 1950-1960 was a decisive period for both the coloniser and the nationalist movement in Kenya. After the world wars which had devastated her economy, Britain was confronted by the unsustainability of the empire, while the nationalist movement agitated for self-governance and self-determination. Anchored on the theory of New historicism, particularly on Stephen Greenblatt’s historicities of texts and textualities of history and Hayden White’s historical emplotment the article employs the methodology of explorative reading to interrogate autobiographies, biographies and historical accounts of that transitive period with a view to explicate the nationalist movement’s vision and programme of action. The article argues that the three streams of the nationalist movement: the political prisoners in detention; political party agitation and military insurgence were asynchronous and in some cases at cross purposes. Further, even within each stream were aggravated personal rivalries: Kenyatta/ Kaggia, Odinga/ Mboya and Kimathi/ Mathenge which blurred clarity for a nation state ideology. The coloniser exploited this discordance to imperil the nationalists’ agenda for self independence and firmed up continued post-colonial subjugation under a neocolonial framework. The article suggests re-instantiation of nationalist frameworks for self-governance and determination in view of the cacophonic global political order.


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How to Cite

Nyandoro, G. O. (2020). Schisms of pre-independence nationalist movement: Impediments to nascent post-colonial Kenya’s nation-state formation. Journal of Postcolonial Writing and World Literatures, 1(2). Retrieved from