RIP: Freedom fighter Field Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima is dead
Kenya mourns the loss of one of its bravest freedom fighters today as Field-Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima, the iconic warrior who fought for the nation’s independence, passed away.
The news of her demise was officially announced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, through his social media platform.
Field-Marshal Muthoni, an indomitable spirit in the pre-independence struggle, was celebrated for her unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom.
She played a pivotal role in the Kenya Land and Freedom Army during the Mau Mau Uprising in the 1950s, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi Wachiuri in the dense forests of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare ranges, fighting tirelessly against colonial oppression.
In a heartfelt tribute, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua praised Field-Marshal Muthoni’s dedication to the nation’s liberation, saying, “I have woken up to sad news of the passing on of Field Marshal Muthoni Kirima, the gallant freedom fighter who fought side by side with Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi Wachiuri in the Mt. Kenya and Aberdare forests to drive colonialists from our land.”
He continued, “May God Rest Her in Eternal peace and give strength to her family to bear the loss.”
Field-Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima made history as the only woman to attain the esteemed rank of field-marshal within the Mau Mau movement, showcasing unparalleled courage and resilience in the face of adversity.
Earlier this year, in April, Ms. Kirima demonstrated her commitment to Kenya’s newfound independence by allowing Kenya’s First Lady, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, to shave her dreadlocks, which she had worn for nearly 75 years. This symbolic act celebrated the nation’s freedom.
Mama Ngina led the festivities in Nyeri, where they fondly reminisced about their youth, and friendship, and shared struggles in the fight for freedom.
Field Marshal Muthoni was known for her unwavering determination, and she once famously declared, “Nobody can shave my hair without my consent. If they attempted to do so, I would have given them a proper beating.”
This marks the third loss of a prominent freedom fighter in 2023.
On May 5, 2023, Ms Mukami Kimathi, the widow of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, passed away at 101 while in hospital.
In August, freedom fighter Brigadier John Kiboko also passed away while receiving medical attention in Nairobi and was laid to rest at his Ngorika home in Olkalou, Murugi.