Karatina University continued its quest of preserving the legacy of Field Marshal Mukami Kimathi by attending her burial ceremony at Njabini, Nyandarua County on Saturday, 13th May 2023. Mama Mukami Kimathi, wife of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, who was a renowned Mau Mau freedom fighter and paragon for the independence struggle in Kenya was one of the revered heroines in Kenya. The Mau Mau movement is arguably known as one that agitated for the attainment of independence in early 1950s’.


Presenting a treasurable portrait of Mama Mukami Kimathi to her daughter Ms. Evelyn Wanjugu


Mama Mukami passed on 4th May 2023 at an advanced age of 96 years. During her burial at her home in Njabini, the multitude of mourners eulogized her as a symbol of resistance and resilience. The President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E William Ruto who was present at the burial described her as a phenomenal woman, a brave human being, a relentless fighter, a true Kenyan patriot and a pillar to the independence struggle; widow of legendary freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi. Equally, the Deputy President, H.E Rigathi Gachagua eulogized her as a woman of steel and that we owe our existence as a Nation to the freedom fighters who inspired and taught us selfless love and sacrifice for the good of our people by enduring brutality. These similar sentiments were echoed by hundreds of former Mau Mau fighters and veterans present.

In according respects to Mama Mukami, Karatina University was represented in the burial by Prof. John Mwaruvie, the Coordinator Centre for Mau Mau and Other Liberation Movements and Dr. Josphat Kagema, Coordinator Centre for Community Outreach. The mourners from all walks of life described Mama Mukami as a woman who also coordinated fellow women in the resistance when it came to oath administration and resource mobilization. These sentimental memories collaborate with what the team from Karatina University captured from the icon herself in 2016. Her youngest daughter Ms. Evalyne Wanjugu, described her mother’s struggle to find closure on the whereabouts of her husband’s remains as a futile quest that has run for decades. However, as the University presented to the family a portrait of her mother during the 2016 interview, it bore some speck of hope that Karatina University will relive the memories of the matriarch through archiving and research for the sake of posterity.


A section of the mourners (including Prof. J. Mwaruvie) keenly following the ceremony


Ms. Wanjugu noted that Prof. Mwaruvie’s interview with the Daily Nation newspaper went viral and generated debate on the place to keep the legacy of Mukami Kimathi. Nyandarua County administration took it as their responsibility to lobby for a Museum in Njabini named after her, a proposal adequately articulated by both the Governor and Senator. The President accepted the proposal and gave Kshs 20M to begin the project. General Kiboko promised to show the Government the place where Field Marshal Kimathi was buried since he was one of the prisoners who buried him. The Government promised to facilitate the work.


Karatina University established the Centre for Mau Mau Studies and Other Liberation Movements Studies in July 2014 in recognition of the need to academically document the painful struggles of the Kenyan people. The main objective of the Centre is to be a centre for research in the Freedom Movements in Kenya, the rest of Africa and the world. Its mandate is to collect, document, and archive and conserve relevant materials and artefacts associated with the freedom struggles of our people. The Centre also identifies freedom heritage sites with a view of rehabilitating them and conserving for posterity. One such site is the Mau Mau Trench located just outside the University Main Campus Gate A.


Prof. J.M. Mwaruvie receives crucial information from a Mau Mau veteran, a Mr. Ngacha Karani during the burial.



The relic house that Field Marshal Mukami used to live in. The house is now poised to be a museum


Dr. Josphat Kagema interviews one of the veterans

Karatina University documenting the event in the space of history


Meeting with one of the alumni of Karatina University, Mr. Collins Kiptoo, Class of 2019. He is the Assistant Director, Youth Affairs, Office of the President.