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conclusion: wangu wa makeri

November 8, 2008


Wangu Wa Makeri sat on men. This is a recurring theme in the many versions of the myths that have been told about her and in some, it is cited as the instigator of her downfall, the revolt of men, and change in the system of rule. This is what I was interested in showing in my work, that the many narratives about Wangu have been weaved in a myth that continuously evolves and changes according to the orator. Personally, I find the myth more compelling to illustrate than the factual story of Wangu. However, for me to be able to arrive at the set of illustrations below, I had to have as factual understanding of who Wangu was as a person.

My version starts on what I feel she is most famous for, then goes to the men planning and carrying out their revolt, to the women getting pregnant and being handed domestic tools for their role in society has changed, and finally the men celebrating their victory and taking over leadership. My take on Wangu Wa Makeri.







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  1. November 10, 2008

    Brayo you never cease to amaze this is amazingh cant wait to see the complete piblished work.Endelea na kazi

  2. November 10, 2008

    AAAuuuiii,ignore the typos on my previous post,i lack patience with spellcheck he he he…

  3. Ally #
    November 13, 2008

    hey Njoro,
    This is some great work. It also gives great insight to the Kikuyu heritage. I love the pic of Wangu seated coz that’s what i can remember most from all the stories I read about her. Do you have more on this? would love to see it.
    Keep up the good work bro.
    so, this work getting published or what? yes…when?

  4. mukuyu #
    November 14, 2008

    These are very good drawings. well done.
    One important point. The daughters of Gikuyu and Mumbi were:

    Wacera or Njeri
    Wangui or Waithiegeni
    Wambura or Wakiuru
    Wangeci or Waithira
    Wamuyu or Wanjugu

    These were the originaters of the TEN Kikuyu clans. You have fallen to the misconception that they were nine because traditionally it was never the custom to count people exactly. They were called NINE FULL or Kenda Muiyuru. There is more to this myth that confuses matters further. According to some sources, the tenth girl, Wamuyu never married and remained in the Gikuyu and Mumbi homestead but earned the right to a full clan. Others like Wanjohi complicate matters even more by saying she was the unmarried daughter of one of the NINE daughters of Mumbi. I agree with the 1st option that there were originally 10 daughters of Mumbi (Nine Full) But one of them did not marry but nevertheless is the mother of a full clan. Kenyatta insinuates that it was a lesser clan but that is not true. THERE ARE TEN FULL CLANS. sorry!!! That would make then 11. THERE ARE TEN CLANS. PERIOD.

    Visit me at for more.

  5. Tata #
    November 14, 2008

    Kijana, I am impressed! I did not even know half of it all.

    I knew that Wangu was one of the Gikuyu Chiefs who opposed the Muthungu but I had no idea that she ‘sat on men’! Love her!

    God bless the work of your hands, may He continue to inspire and release the creativity that He has invested within you.

    Keeping going – there are no limits!

    Auntie Wambui

  6. November 15, 2008

    Good illustrations. Very well done and keep the fire alight.
    However, you might want to consider whether Wangu sat on men as a matter of fact. she was the most intelligent, talented and florific leader in the history of Gikuyu. she is one of the most active feminist in the Gikuyu history putting the leasership and control of Gikuyu men into question. Wangu is not a legend, she is real. she is a living mentor for how history has been shaped in the Gikuyu world. She was a woman, a lover of Karuri wa Gakure but also a married woman to Makeri. What does that tell you about the history of Gikuyu women in Kenya?
    Once again, great work and keep on the good work of the Gikuyu people.

  7. November 17, 2008

    I love you illustrations, this is one sure way of ensuring that our folklore doesn’t ever fade. Great work.

    I hope this is just the beginning, will be back for more.

  8. Kariuki wa Mathira #
    November 19, 2008

    Jambo All,

    This brings back very fond memories …. however Wangu may not have literally ‘sat’ on men as illustrated …. maybe she was an unjust ruler Moi also “sat” on all Kenyans for a long time

    wa Mathira

  9. eric g #
    December 1, 2008


    Kikuyuland today is divided into two parts:

    Nyeri and kirinyaga = matriachy

    Kiambu and muranga = Patriachy

    long time ago however the whole of kikuyuland was a matriachy.

    The matriachy in kiambu and muranga came to an end only because of fighting with the maasai and other tribes. the matriachy continued in nyeri and kirinyaga because of the relative isolation of these two districts i.e., no tribal clashes.

    As a general rule black females tend to create a matriachy only when they live in relative security…they only do so if there are no tribal wars with neighbouring tribes.

    The gender wars in kikuyuland are not yet over in nyeri and kirinyaga, the women rule. In muranga the men rule. While in kiambu the men “think” they are in power. In kiambu hundreds of men have been poisoned by their wives, some are dead and others have become disabled.

    Ask the men and they will tell you that Wangu wa makeri was a despot and a tyrant. the women think she was a great leader.

    The question is how do women who are physically weaker than men manage create a matriachy and rule men?

    The answer is interesting and disturbing. the females beat the men into submission when they are young. female violence against males begins when the boys are as young as two years old; the boys are slaped, beaten and turned into beasts of burden. when the boys grow up they become PASSIVE and submissive. The females are left alone, they become dominant and aggressive.

    In america, the black south, especially houston is a matriachy, the black american males in the south are passive and submissive while the black women are dominant and aggresive. In places like chicago and newyork the black males are more dominant aggressive.

    In europe, northern european women I.e., the danes, finns, etc, are dominant and independent. The ancient european historian, herodotus, wrote that the Amazons, a nation of all female warriors did not get married until they had killed a man in battle.

    Men who grow up in a matriachy are passive, dependent, laid back and non-opinionated. They do not challenge the status quo. They will join a revolution and even take over a revolution but they won’t start one. Having been ’emasculated’ with violence by the females from infancy, they are hard working but not very enterprising; They seldom become self employed, they prefer a ‘safe’ government or corporate job.

    Men who grow up in a patriachy are aggresive, dominant, loud, opinionated, independent, enterprising and revolutionary. They do and will challenge the status quo. they often become self employed but many end up broke because of taking too many unwise risks.

    By the way KIBOKO84 – the art work is great, very imaginative and educational.

  10. Timo #
    April 10, 2009

    You know I have to question the illustration of Wangu sitting on men. In Kikuyu there is a phrase, “Nduguka kunjikarira.” You are not going to “sit” on me. In other words you will not lord over me, be the boss of me, etc. Could it be that the current translation we have of Wangu sitting on a man was lost in translation?

  11. Mundu wa Nyiri #
    April 30, 2009

    I like your analysis of Nyeri/Kirinyaga vs Kiambu/Muranga i dont agree with all that you have said but it really makes sense.

    Wangu’s other charscteristic was that in addition to ‘sitting’ on men she was loud and made the whole world know that she was incharge. this is normaly the case with women who rule over their men, they not only do it but they also let the whole world know that they are incharge, end up falling into traps just like Wangu did when men pretend to be submissive but are covertly scheming against their women.
    the art work is ‘kiboko yao’ quite educational but entertaining at the same time

  12. ---Supreme-G.R.E.A.M--- #
    September 1, 2009

    hehehe. i maintain wangu was a chiefz clande and took to lord over men because of the fear or respect the men had for the chief. i will kam back when i get the chiefz name

  13. Timothy Wa Solo aka Macharia Wa Kagecha #
    September 30, 2009

    No Comment!. Wira Niurutite na guthoma tagua. keep it up

  14. Lance #
    February 25, 2011

    I am of this family

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