Article Image
NATIONAL

Chief Karuru Gakuru, the man who shaped Murang'a and Nyeri Counties

Mwangi X Muthiora
Vote on this article to affect its rank!
The late Paramount Chief Karuru Gakuru who died in 1916. [PHOTO/ArchivesKenya]

Chief Karuri Gakure decisions still influences Kenya and the whole world both negatively and positively. He was introduced to Italian Catholic Missionaries in 1901 who were on their way to Ethiopia and seduced them to come to to Tuthu. They (missionaries) changed direction and settled in Tuthu from 28th June 1902 to date. The missionaries established a school in Tuthu(1902), Tetu(1903), Mathari(1905), Karima(1905), Mugoiri(1906) and Murang’a town in 1907. He made education compulsory to all young members of his household.

All these mission centers were established under influence of Chief Karuri. Later, Tuthu school produced Business magnates top among them Peter Munga, Karuri Wairegi, Christopher Kirubi, Politician Joseph Kamotho and many others. Tetu mission produced The late Wahome Mutahi, Nobel Laureate Professor Mary Josephine Wangari Muta Nee Maathai. Karima mission gave out 3rd president of republic of Kenya Mwai Kibaki and Mugoiri produced minister John Michuki, Ambassador Emmah Wangechi Murai and many more. His ruthless ways ensured migration of people from Tuthu to other parts of the country. Majority settled in Kiambu, Rift valley, Nyeri and Maasai Land.

Karuri cooled an initial resistance by his people who were on a mission to use igutha, ngo, matimu na migwi (catapults, shields, spears and arrows) to fight Nyakeru (white man). He advised his people to learn nyakeru culture first. He sent his first born son abroad to learn nyakeru knowledge. Later he entered into an agreement with the colonialists that they won’t alienate Murang’a land. This worked so well as white highlands were not there in Murang’a. Karuri was also the first to wear matonyo. 

Without any knowledge in designing roads,he designed Tuthu – Kanyenyaini Road with 82 curves skewing ridges it is an unique road as it don’t have hills. The routes he was using to Nairobi played a key role in the designing of all major roads in Murang’a and in Nyeri.He was also the brain behind appointment of Wangu wa Makeri from Koimbi: the first man to embrace women empowerment and ascendancy of women to leadership.

To commemorate a century since he passed on, (1916-2016), plans are underway of annexing his mausoleum and its gazzetement as National Monument. Artifacts shall be collected from Turin Italy and brought back to Tuthu and a Museum established there. Surprising enough, Tuthu has played a key role in establishing and making our country's critical decisions as Michuki predicted that Uhuru will reign after Kibaki. A mission accomplished albeit post humors. The history of the great Chief Karuri Gakure, uncle to Jomo Kenyatta, influenced education of 3rd president of Kenya Mwai Kibaki and a distant relative of Uhuru Kenyatta, fourth president of Kenya.

Nunua Unilever products zote at 50% off Pap!

Thank you for reading my article! You have contributed to my success as a writer. The articles you choose to read on Hivisasa help shape the content we offer.
-Mwangi X Muthiora

Vote on this article to affect its rank!
Report Story