A Gikuyu song from Kenya, describing a battle during the Independence struggle in the 1950s. General Kariba’s group in the Kenya Levellation Army fought the British on Tumu Tumu Hill near Kirimukuyu.
The heroism of Waruanja who went disguised to spy out the British position, and of Kanjunio, the girl who brought back his report, and of Gakuru who sacrificed his life to destroy the machine guns, are all commemorated.
Listen and hear this story
Of the Tumu Tumu Hill!
So that you may realise that God is with us
And will never abandon us.
It was on a Wednesday:
We were in a village down the valley:
The enemy decided to climb
In order to see Kikuyuland.
When it struck two in the afternoon,
Waruanja was sent down the valley
Dressed like a woman
In order to spy.
He brought back a valuable message
That Kirimukuyu was guarded by security forces:
Down in the valley were 400 fighters
Whom the government intended to surround.
Good fortune came our way
In the form of a girl
Who saved a thousand lives.
When it struck two,
A thunderous noise was heard from atop the hill:
Bren guns were firing from every direction,
But God helped us and we descended safely.
Gakuru gave his own life
To save the lives of his friends:
He threw a grenade
And the machine guns ceased their firing.
When we reached the valley
We found parents in tears,
Coming down the hill
To witness the death of their sons.
from Mau Mau Within (1966)
by Donald L. Barnett