Trials in 'the Trial of Dedan Kimathi'

Topics: Kenya, Mau Mau Uprising, Dedan Kimathi Pages: 3 (892 words) Published: April 16, 2012
The trial of dedan kimathi is an excellent example of Agit-prop theatre. This kind of theatre first emerged in 1920 in Soviet Union with the aim of instigating people into doing something. One of the devices which are used as a revolutionary tool to is the incorporating of many trials in the play. According to Delip K. Basu, though the trials the play intends to “question the very basis of large economic, political and social systems. Ngugi and Mugo have played upon the word ‘trial’ investing many meanings in it. The most significant trials are Kimathi’s four trials in which Kimathi deals with all social structures against him and also overcomes his personal doubts. In the first trial Shaw Henderson tries to persuade Kimathi. “Plead guilty. We spare you life.” Shaw Henderson’s as well British government’s double-standards are brought to the fore here. One moment Henderson talks as a ‘British Gentleman’ and the next moment he says, “I am a Kenyan” in order to persuade Kimathi to give up his struggle. Kimathi is very strong-willed and can see through Henderson’s false promises.

In the second trial an African banker tries to persuade Kimathi to give up his struggle and plead guilty. He is only interested in his selfish interests and talks about opening sea-side resorts, international hotels, casinos etc. at the time when people of Kenya were starving. When Kimathi questions, “where do our people come in partnership for your progress”, the banker replies that there will always be toilers. The author is condemning neo-capitalism through this trial. Kimathi comes out victorious through trial too when he call the African businessman-“Judas”.

In the third trial Kimathi has to face influential people from Africa from economic, political and religious spheres. This trial is slightly more difficult from the other two. The business executive informs him that there is no more racialism and any African who works hard can make I to the top and also that they could now buy...
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