Makhan Singh

Jomo Kenyatta, post-war Labour Party, strikes and the pass system - Makhan Singh

Annotated excerpt from Makhan Singh's History of Kenya's Trade Union Movement to 1952, describing Jomo Kenyatta's comments on the kipande pass system and strike action shortly after he was elected leader of the Kenya African Union (KAU).

Wartime strikes in Kenya - Makhan Singh

Makhan Singh on wartime strikes in Kenya, including struggles against conscript labour, railway strikes, and a general strike in Uganda in January 1945.

Singh, Makhan (1913 – 1973)

Biography of Makhan Singh, who translated Marx's Capital while in detention in India, was a central figure in Kenya's early trade union movement in the 1940s, was imprisoned for 16 years, then sidelined by Jomo Kenyatta's post-colonial government.

The Nairobi General Strike, 1950: From Protest to Insurgency

Government Road, Nairobi, 1950

The Nairobi General Strike [1950] was the culmination of Kenya’s post war strike wave and urban upheaval. An unprecedented upsurge occurred with the general strikes in Mombasa [1947] led by the African Workers Federation [A.W.F.] and in Nairobi by the East African Trades Union Congress [E.A.T.U.C.]. While this has been termed and treated as a city wide strike, there is enough evidence to suggest a movement that went some way beyond Nairobi. The extent of the cohesion and reciprocal impacts amongst urban and rural Africans involved in the strike were underplayed by the colonial government and the media that followed it.