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Dedan Kimathi
Statue of Dedan Kimathi Nairobi, Kenya.jpg
Born
Kimathi wa Waciuri

(1920-10-31)31 October 1920
Nyeri District, Central Province, Kenya
Died 18 February 1957(1957-02-18) (aged 36)
Nairobi, Kenya
Organization Tribe: Kikuyu
Known for Leader of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army and the Mau Mau Uprising

Dedan Kimathi Waciuri (31 October 1920 – 18 February 1957), born Kimathi wa Waciuri in what was then British Kenya, was the senior military and spiritual leader of the Mau Mau Uprising. Widely regarded as a revolutionary leader, he led the armed military struggle against the British colonial regime in Kenya in the 1950s until his execution in 1957.

Kimathi is credited with leading efforts to create formal military structures within the Mau Mau, and convening a war council in 1953. He, along with Musa Mwariama and Muthoni Kirima, was one of three Field Marshals. His capture in 1956 and execution the next year diminished the uprising against the British colonial government.

Kenyan nationalists view him as the heroic figurehead of the Kenyan freedom struggle against British colonial rule, while the British government saw him as a terrorist. Despite being viewed with disdain by the first two presidents of independent Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi, Kimathi and his fellow Mau Mau rebels were officially recognised as heroes in the struggle for Kenyan independence under the Mwai Kibaki administration, culminating in the unveiling of a Kimathi statue in 2007. This was reinforced by the passage of a new Constitution in 2010 calling for recognition of national heroes.

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