By Neal Sobania
Kenya, a land of safaris, wild animals, and Maasai warriors, completely represents Africa for lots of Westerners. This peerless single-source booklet provides the modern fact of lifestyles in Kenya, a massive East-African kingdom that has served as a crossroads for peoples and cultures from Africa, the center East, and East Asia for hundreds of years.
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Extra info for Culture and Customs of Kenya (Culture and Customs of Africa)
The purpose of growing these cash crops, which were usually exported to and processed in Britain and Europe, was to generate income for white farmers and industries in Europe—one of the principle means by which Europe extracted wealth from the continent. Growing these crops was particularly devastating to African farmers. On the one hand Africans were forced to provide the labor to grow them, and if they grew them on their own farms, they had to sell them to European firms at artificially low prices.
However, before government policy could move in this direction, there was another issue that had to be resolved. This was the desire of the European settler population to rule Kenya as “a white man’s country,” a claim they made on the basis that it would then enable them to be totally committed to building the country and its economy. As the settler population expanded, so too had the Asian community, and so too had the struggle between these two communities. Whether as railway worker, carpenter, smith, shopkeeper, general merchant, or newspaper founder, members of the Asian community held tenaciously to their customs and cultural traditions from India, including the establishment of their own schools, clinics, temples, and mosques.
Their dissatisfaction included complaints that the chiefs gave work only to their own family members, relatives, and others who supported them as chief. Their grievances with government focused on land-tenure issues, hut and poll taxes, and the introduction of a registration system for all Africans. The kipande system, which required every African to carry an identity document, was designed to control the movement and labor of the African population much as passes were later used in South Africa.
Culture and Customs of Kenya (Culture and Customs of Africa) by Neal Sobania