Celebrating Mekatilili wa Menza
Today’s the Search Engine Google is celebrating Mekatilili wa Menza. This doodle has been illustrated by Nairobi-based guest artist Wanjira Kinyua. Google Doodle celebrates legendary Kenyan activist Mekatilili wa Menza recognized for inspiring the Giriama people to fight colonial rule in the early 20th century. Today on the Kenyan coast, the resilient legacy of Menza is honored during the celebrations of the traditional Malindi Cultural Festival which is an annual celebration of local past history and pride.
Who led the Giriama people in a rebellion against the British Colonial Administration and was politically active between 1912 – 1915.
Mekatilili was born in the 1860s at Mutsara wa Tsatsu in Bamba, Kilifi County. She was an only daughter in a family of five children. One of her brothers, Mwarandu, was taken by Arab slavers and was never seen again. She was married to Dyeka at Lango Baya.
Mnyazi wa Menza was born in the Giriama village of Matsara wa Tsatsu in coastal Kenya during the mid-19th century. By the early 20th century, British colonial rule had threatened the sovereignty and freedom of the Giriama people with forced labor and taxation. At a time when women’s power was restricted within her society, Menza was bound to form her people against colonial control.
Mnyazi wa Menza (or Makatilili) was a Kenyan female leader, who commanded the Giriama people in a uprising against the British Colonial Administration and was politically active between 1912 – 1915.
The British ultimately calm control of the region, efficiently surrendering the demands for which Menza and the Giriama had fought tirelessly for.
During Kenya’s 1980 feminist movement activists considered Menza to be a symbol for the movement, as they saying her as strong and resilient for her resistance against the British colonies according to Wikipedia.