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Title:'The rooting out of Mau Mau from the minds of the Kikuyu is a formidable task': propaganda and the Mau Mau war
Author:Osborne, MylesISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
Subjects:Mau Mau
media policy
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S002185371400067X
Abstract:Despite the recent proliferation of scholarship on the Mau Mau rebellion, little attention has been paid to the 'propaganda war' it generated. The absence is especially striking given the importance that both the British and Mau Mau fighters attached to success in the battle for the 'hearts and minds' of Kenya's African population. This article analyzes the production of colonial propaganda - and its reception by Africans - in the 'Emergency' revealing how its themes and strategies changed over the course of the 1950s. Despite vast resources pumped into this effort, both African and British testimonies reveal that this propaganda had only limited success until government forces gained the upper hand in the military war against Mau Mau in late 1954. After that point, the increased level of control in Central Province enabled officials to finally best the efforts of skilled Mau Mau propagandists. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]