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Book Launch: The Untold Story of Gusii Survival Techniques and Resistance to the Establishment of British Colonial Rule
Thursday 29 August 2019, 05:30pm - 09:00pm
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The Untold Story of Gusii Survival Techniques and Resistance to the Establishment of British Colonial Rule 

There is barely sufficient information about the Gusii resistance to the establishment of the British colonial rule in Gusiiland. The scanty knowledge available on this historical phenomenon in Kenya is inaccurate and intentionally distorted in favor of the colonial master. What is true and authentic, and contrary to the incorrect histories presented by the British, is that the Kings African Rival soldiers suffered a humiliating defeat in their initial encounter with the Gusii warriors in this landmark historical event. It is misleading, and rather embarrassing, for the histories of the West, for instance, to portray the lead Gusii warrior, Otenyo Nyamaterere, as a frustrated and deranged lone-ranger who was high on narcotics when he attacked with a spear and injured the first District Commissioner of Kisii, Geoffrey Northcote. In a fierce rebuttal to this falsehood existing in the colonial narrative, this book attempts to correct this historical fault and erroneousness. The book starts by giving a contextual reconstruction on how the Gusii honed their fighting skills and survival strategies from many years of struggle against the hostile and warlike neighbors – the Maasai, Kalenjin and the Luo. It was these skills and strategies that came in handy when later the Gusii a more formidable external aggressor – the Kings African Rival soldiers.  The Gusii warriors demonstrated great fighting skills in their encounter with these soldiers; however, the main factor that led to their eventual defeat and conquest was the British superior weaponry. The Gusii weapons could not match the British Gin power.

 What other researchers say

“The book aptly addresses the deficiency in the analysis of the evolution, scope, and dynamics of resistance and defensive mechanisms of the British community in the pre-colonial and colonial era. It transcends existing generalizations concerning the nature of colonial invasion of the Gusii land, which has been predominately cast as an uncontested invasion and imposition of colonial rule. It readjusts such unqualified assumptions that have underestimated the place of organized traditional resistance while emphasizing the importance of traditional collaborative institutions in the establishment of colonial hegemony. The book will be of interest to any reader inquisitive about the socio-political organization of the Gusii and it certainly will be of wide application to diverse academic fields including political and legal history, sociology and anthropology.”

Wycliffe Nyachoti Otiso, a scholar of Law, Kisii University

“The author has corrected the faulty histories and falsehoods written by the West concerning the conquest and establishment of colonial rule over the Gusii and has presented to the world a precise, authentic and detailed account of the Gusii resistance to the establishment of British colonial rule in Gusiiland.”

Christopher Okemwa, a scholar of Literature, Kisii University

Location Panafrica Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

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