The AFLANG Project | KIKUYU
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ABOUT KIKUYU

The Kikuyu language (the term, Kikuyu, being the Swahili form of the native pronunciation, Gĩkũyũ) is spoken by the Kikuyu people, the largest ethnic group in Kenya, making up about 22 percent of the population. Prior to colonisation, the Kikuyu practised restorative justice, which emphasised restoring peace and stability in the community through reconciliation. The Kikuyu people are known for their industrious nature; economically, they were great farmers and shrewd businesspeople. They have also always been monotheists, believing in one supreme God. Under colonial rule and having experienced confiscation of their land, the Kikuyu spearheaded the Mau Mau Rebellion—a war that eventually led to Kenya’s Independence. Some prominent Kikuyu people include Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first female Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, a prominent Kikuyu literature icon. One of the most famous attractions in the area where the Kikuyu reside is Mount Kenya—the second tallest mountain in Africa. Mount Kenya hosts and is surrounded by the Mount Kenya National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park boasts of vast natural wonders such as lakes, glaciers, mineral springs, dense forests and an assortment of rare and endangered animal species.

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