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Editorial Note On Henry Muoria’s Three Political Pamphlets

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Chapter Summary

The nineteenth-century Ki-Swahili pronunciation, Kikuyu, was adopted by British officials and European settlers, as also by most scholars, in the twentieth century. In all three political pamphlets the original Gikuyu text is that of Henry Muoria, as it stood in 1945, 1946, and 1947 respectively. The English translations of the two pamphlets that focus on Jomo Kenyatta, The Homecoming of our Great Hero and Jomo Kenyatta is our Reconciler, are based on Henry Muorias own renderings, made during his London exile, in the 1970s and 80s. The first pamphlet, What Should we Do, Our People, was published in English translation in Muorias I, the Gikuyu, and the White Fury. The Kenya African Teachers Union in 1939 recommended that Gikuyu ought to be written using the Protestant orthography, but without the troublesome diacritics.

Keywords: Gikuyu text; Henry Muoria; Jomo Kenyatta; Kikuyu; political pamphlets

10.1163/ej.9789004174047.i-409.33
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