KIMATHI @100

If Kimathi had lived- he would have turned 100 years today-31st October 2020. There is a better way of saying that. If they had not hanged Kimathi on that cold morning of 18th February 1956, he would have the day today regaling his grandchildren with heroic tales of the freedom struggle.

I came across this image that captivated me. Beauty is meaningless unless shared so that’s why I am sharing it. It’s a gothic reimagining of Dedan Kimathi and Mwariama. Kimathi’s visage is stoic, almost nonchalant.Mwariama is towering and menacing. The two gallant men embody our struggle for liberation which they didn’t see to come to be-and thus the reimagining.

The raven on the Field Marshall’s hand is a tricky symbol though. Since it’s a bird of carrion, the raven is often associated with loss and ill omen. Yet its symbolism is complex. As a talking bird, the raven also represents prophecy and insight. Ravens in stories often act as psychopomps, connecting the material world with the world of spirits.

Anthropologists suggest the raven (like the coyote) obtained mythic status because it was a mediator animal between life and death. As a carrion bird, ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls.

Do Kimathi and Mwariama embody some of the lost souls of our fight for liberation?

NB:

I have no rights to the image.

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