What comes into your mind when you hear the word mungiki? probably the worst. Most times mungiki is known for being extremely cruel and fierce to residents in Central Province and Rift Valley. That’s where it originated. Back in the 1980s Gikuyu community was oppressed and had no one to defend them from the wrath of their enemies. A group of men came together and formed an alliance to be at the defense of their people. In Swahili that group is called kikundi but in the native Gikuyu, the word is MUNGIKI.

Among the operations of the mungiki were to get rid of tribalism as well as fight westernization that most Gikuyus had adapted to which included but not limited to Christianity. They did it consistently and diligently remained loyal to the union. Ten years down the line they were able to fight tribalism. However, Joseph CampBell in his book, THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, says there is a likelihood that thou who does good deeds will change and become a hazard no one ever thought he would turn into. And that’s what happened with mungiki. Heroes that became tyrants.

Mungiki moved and occupied most of Nairobi area including the slums. They began ruling and harassing public vehicles. This gave them access to operate constructions and security and this made mungiki a popular and feared name.

It came a time politicians seeked mungiki’s assistance as they were too many of them. However this was the onset of Mungiki’s demise. In 2002, the politician supported by these lot didn’t win and therefore this caused a lot of misunderstanding. In 2007 Mungiki was involved in the severe violence that unalived hundreds of Women and children. Some fled to churches. They were found there and burnt to ashes. That’s the time mungiki was in everyone’s mouth and the thought of that group made even those born after it’s demise hearts skip a beat. Some don’t even know that mungiki was ones Gikuyus defenders.

Mungiki weree mostly known for unkempt Dreadlocks that signified their union. Their leader Maina Njenga had been arrested from 2006 through to 2009 and was released. He converted to Christianity and since then has been on the lead to fight the very group he led. It’s quite ironical. The damage is already done though. They say it is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes a king in his own self if not in the world. Heroes that became tyrants.







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