Some Kenyans are demanding a ‘full & frank apology’ from King Charles

King Charles and his consort will arrive in Kenya on Tuesday, Halloween. Boo! It’s a sausage-fingered racist coming to haunt you. There’s been a distinct lack of buzz about this Kenya trip, probably because no one wants to point out that this is the king’s first trip to a Commonwealth country as monarch AND because Charles is extremely nervous about the reception he and Camilla will get in the country. I said before that I imagine that C&C will try to keep things as lowkey as possible, but the palace has already indicated that it is extremely unlikely that Charles will go so far as “apologizing” for Britain’s many sins in Kenya. Interestingly enough, Tom Sykes at the Daily Beast had a long-read piece about how Kenyans will react to the king’s visit, given the extensive and well-documented history of British oppression in Kenyan, including 90,000 Kenyans murdered, tortured or maimed in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion against the British colonizers. You can read the full piece here, and here are some highlights:

They want an apology: Influential Kenyan citizens and expatriates have told The Daily Beast they want King Charles to use his forthcoming visit to the country to make a full and frank apology for crimes perpetrated by British overlords as they crushed the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya between 1952 and 1960, one of the bloodiest episodes in colonial history. So far, the Palace has refused to be drawn in detail on the question of how the king will deal with the divisive and toxic legacy of British colonialism in Kenya, with advisers only saying that he would acknowledge “painful aspects” of the countries’ “shared history.”

How people really feel: Take, for example, Dominic Kirui, a Kenyan athlete and double Olympian turned writer. In a telephone interview, he told The Daily Beast: “A royal visit in itself is not something that many Kenyans would have wanted or needed, because it awakens thoughts and feelings about the colonial past that many people have buried and never want exhumed.” Kirui comes from a region in the Rif Valley where, he says, “the scars of colonialism can still be felt and seen. The people in Kericho were driven out of their homes and their ancestral lands and forcibly resettled in Nyanza, on lands that were infested with the tsetse fly, which it was hoped would kill them. A royal visit only serves to remind people about the injustices that were committed and the pain they suffered, so I cannot believe it is something Kenyans would be eager to see or witness.”

Britain’s colonialist past is still felt every day in Kenya: Kirui points out that stories of oppression are common “all over Kenya” especially where huge tea farms comprising thousands of acres were carved out. “The people whose land was stolen… still live among the farms,” Kirui said, adding, “I see the visit by the royals as a way of the colonists saying to Kenyans, ‘We are still around. You are not as sovereign as you think you are.’” Kirui dismissed the generalized expressions of contrition made by Charles’ office saying that what was needed was “reparations to ensure people are compensated.”

Another Kenyan voice: James Mugo, a Kenyan-born lawyer who has lived in the U.K. for 26 years, has a very personal sense of outrage about what the British did in Kenya. In the mid-1950s, his grandfather, who was in his late seventies, was shot and killed at point-blank range by British soldiers as he emerged from a forest where he had been gathering honey from beehives he kept there. He was far too old to be mistaken for a Mau Mau fighter. Mugo told The Daily Beast: “Unless King Charles delivers anything less than an outright apology for the crimes committed by the colonists, he will not be welcome in Kenya. There are millions of people who are still languishing in poverty right now as a result of the British’s actions. They lost their land and were put in concentration camps and villages and exploited for cheap labor. I don’t see why Kenyans cannot be compensated.” Speaking about his grandfather’s murder by British troops, he said: “He was not fighting. He was 70 years old and he was shot by British soldiers collecting honey. So I personally find it very offensive that King Charles can go there and not apologize for what happened. Very offensive. It is adding insult to injury.”

[From The Daily Beast]

There are other Kenyans quoted, some of whom say that they welcome the royal visit and they want to see Kenya make some deals with British businesses. One suggested that China and Russia have been looking to invest in Kenya, which probably provides the best explanation for why Charles is visiting Kenya more than anything else. But yeah – it’s quite unlikely that Charles will issue a thorough apology and it’s quite likely that he will stammer through some half-assed speech where he basically says “mistakes were made, let’s move on and make a deal.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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45 Responses to “Some Kenyans are demanding a ‘full & frank apology’ from King Charles”

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  1. Pinkosaurus says:

    I am so glad these stories are being published. British colonizers cold bloodedly killed anyone who they couldn’t enslave for cheap labor to take their land for profit and steal their history for the British Museum and royal family. Can you imagine the gaul of inviting Kenyans to London to look at your collection of stolen and plundered loot? Yet, KC3 just did it and got positive headlines in the British rags. I hope Kenyan citizens are able to protest him at every location so the tabloids can’t even pretend it was a successful trip.

    • equality says:

      I bet everywhere he goes the crowd will be carefully controlled. This is the guy who had people arrested for holding blank sheets of paper.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I struggle to fathom that this happened while Elvis was releasing songs and the Queen was being coronated and the Beatles etc.

      And then I remember the sins committed at our border with Mexico – and potentially still being committed- and I realize that this kind of evil is not contained by time. It’s flourishes in the right environment regardless of the will of the people in the country being governed.

      That said – Britain needs to attempt to make it right and fully acknowledge their sins at the very very least.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    The lack of buzz is down to it being Charles and Camilla and the fact that there are more serious issues going on in the world at the moment. This tour is going to flop and the Palace will brief against Harry and Meghan again to distract from its failure.

    • Megan says:

      Having recently visited Kenya I would say the interest in the royal family is somewhere around zero. The tour will be a total flop because no one is interested in either Kenya or the UK.

  3. Chuckles apologizes for nothing. He is not going to apologize to Kenya. I hope for large protests and lots of booing.

    • Truthiness says:

      He couldn’t apologize to the Indigenous people of Canada but he sure mentioned reconciliation and a relationship going forward. He wants all the fruits with none of the labor.

    • Fabiola says:

      He will never apologize. I hope they get kicked out of Kenya

  4. Heather says:

    He won’t apologize to his own son. Why would he apologize to a whole country? He’s garbage, but I’m sure they know that by now. This is going to be so epically bad.

  5. KFC will treat Kenya as he does his son, meaning he will wield every weapon he has at them to make sure they are “brought to heel”

  6. ML says:

    Not apologizing is thankfully becoming less acceptable. I know people who have told me their fathers never apologize, and in regular society this is no longer being accepted as “strong,” “manly,” or okay. The Dutch king has also officially started apologizing…Charles is out of step with the times here. He’s also one of the only monarchs who isn’t starting to send art back that was acquired under suspicious circumstances. Or pressuring the British museum to do so.
    And thankfully his visit to Kenya is bringing KC’s behavior into sharp relief. The atrocities were horrific! I hope if he doesn’t come prepared to deal with the past, the past will come for him.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Such a great article, ML. It’s clear that the only reason the British government settled that lawsuit in the 20 teens was to prevent having all the horrors aired in open court. And the author ties these horrors and those who committed them directly to the monarchy.

  7. Tessa says:

    Charles never apologizes just blames others.

  8. manda says:

    I wish we would all talk more about how a LOT of today’s problems are a result of British imperialism.

    • Bettyrose says:

      So much this. Kuwait, Pakistan, Israel, those are just the ones that immediately come to mind where modern day political strife is a direct result of British Imperialism but we aren’t taking about it. The degree to which Britian inserted itself in complex cultural/geopolitical scenarios but made decisions based on British interests needs to be taught in modern history classes across the anglo-influenced world.

      Is anyone in the line of succession really qualified to address any of this?

      • Concern Fae says:

        And it’s still ongoing. The Tories did Brexit while completely ignoring the requirements of the treaty that brought peace to Northern Ireland. They paid off the DUP (the pro-British party) with £1B to go along with it. Now the DUP has basically refused to go along with any lawmaking until there is a fully secure boarder with the Irish Republic. The EU, and the rest of the world, won’t let that happen. So Northern Ireland is slowly collapsing.

        The Royal Family is ignoring the history of wrongdoing and colonialism within the UK itself. They certainly don’t seem worry over the problems they caused in Kenya.

        What’s really scary is that if you look at former colonies, the British ones are faring much better than the French, Spanish or other European colonies. All you have to do is to look at Kenya to realize what that means about the places we kind of ignore because they don’t speak English.

      • MoxyLady007 says:

        “They don’t talk about Harry no no no”

        Unless it’s to talk about how awful he is and to try to fully control the narrative.

        I don’t know if anyone of the left overs are educated enough to even hold a casual conversation about racism – I doubt they have tried to educate themselves aboit and social justice topic – much less the complicated and insidious ways in which their colonialism divided these people from their land, language, families, culture, freedom and wealth and effects nearly every aspect of their lives to this day.

      • Anne says:

        I’m listing to a podcast called ‘Empire’ that discusses all the different ways that the British Empire destroyed “their” colonies. I highly recommend listening — it draws a direct line from the current wars/political strife that are happening today to British occupation. They laid waste to the colonies by going from country to country, stealing natural resources, enslaving the indigenous populations, and then peacing out then things got chaotic.

      • bisynaptic says:

        @Concern Fae, absolutely.

  9. Brassy Rebel says:

    Instead of apologizing, Charles mumbles euphemisms in a passive voice, as you point out (mistakes were made etc). I’m sure they’re going to surround him and his horse face consort with as many Kenyans with Stockholm Syndrome as they can possibly find.

    Btw, I hope Kenyans are very careful in their dealings with Russian and Chinese “businesss” interests. They’re after the new wealth in these countries—rare earth minerals.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I can barely fathom Russia having the resources to try to make deals right now.

      Ugh. Twitter was so vital in getting information out for the Ukrainians. I hate Elon musk.

      But you are right. 100%. These new business interests will destroy their lands and leave festering wounds in the earth full of toxic material that will taint everything surrounding it.

      It’s the capitalist way. And capitalism seems to be the new colonialism.

  10. SarahCS says:

    I was unaware that the British government (William Hague) has already apologised a decade ago, so it’s not like he would be opening the floodgates of accountability. Given that a lot of these atrocities are still in living memory, never mind the people living with the consequences, I hope we hear more about them. British history is amazingly whitewashed and we have to change that.

  11. Feebee says:

    @ ML It wasn’t until I saw your comment about people saying their father never apologized that it hit me that my husband never apologizes. I mean it’s not in a big deal way, I’ve only called him out on it once. His dad probably never apologized either. I just didn’t ever think of it being a societal level thing. We should be teaching our boys to be better. And expect better not least from the King.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I don’t think my father ever uttered the word “sorry” in his entire life. It’s definitely something that western culture instills in males from an early age.

  12. A says:

    Surely the Tories also don’t want him to apologize. I don’t want it to sound like I’m letting Charles off the hook here, because I’m not. I hope this visit is helpful to Kenyans to get what they want out of their ties to the UK and I hope it’s trouble for Charles. It’s funny they’re letting him flounder out here on his own but I’m sure the government has told him its stance on an apology.

  13. Roo says:

    On a global strategic scale, the UK wants to secure alliances with countries in Africa because there is great Russian and Chinese interest and investment in that continent. The UK needs to secure its friendships and access to valuable minerals. This is an understandable political interest. These two clowns, however, are not the people to send to help strengthen any ties with Kenya. They are not modern and they come empty-handed, expecting to be celebrated for merely existing. Their world no longer exists anywhere. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • MoxyLady007 says:


      And the people of Kenya will be the ones who suffer due to all the interest and the very severe lack of environmental oversight that exponential capitalism needs and thrives on.

  14. aquarius64 says:

    An interesting read from AP News. SNL went after Charles saying he wants to Meghan. How embarrassing if she is brought up.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      @Aquarius64 thank you for the AP article! It his sounds so familiar. Leak some promise to the lapdog tabloids you have no intention of keeping, but get the credit anyway.

      “The unsolved murder of Agnes Wanjiru, who disappeared near a British base in Kenya 11 years ago, is another issue that is likely to surface during the visit.

      While a former British soldier is the prime suspect in the case, authorities have yet to charge anyone.

      Wanjiru’s family told the AP that they had hoped the U.K. government would contact them about the case, but so far they have heard nothing.

      “Numerous dignitaries from the U.K. have visited Kenya, promising to meet our family, but failing to do so,” said Wanjiru’s sister Rose. “They only make those commitments to the media and never honor them.”

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Aquarius64, that I saw the clip on NoChillMood (@ritaag) on X. Wow, SNL is going for the throat–I’m here for it.

  15. kelleybelle says:

    Return the stolen jewels, too. A needle-nosed pompous ass who married his hosey side-piece. Some king you are, eh?

    • Macky says:

      They should’ve got Elizabeth to apologize. She actually met a lot of the players. It really doesn’t harm chuck to apologize. He wasn’t anywhere around and had no influence. If Elizabeth did it it would’ve meant more.

      I can only assume chick or will will eventual make an apologize. They seem to be softening up the old guard. There will be tons of “neverwas” that will be outraged. Apparently they think that in the past their families did ok. That’s actually not true. If their ancestors could communicate they would say “we got treated just as bad as the colonys, don’t fall for aristocratic nonsense”.

      • MoxyLady007 says:

        Kenya is no longer a colony and is independent. Yet most of its fertile farm land is still owned by the people who forcibly removed the true and right inhabitants through murder, violence, force and torture. That same land is making people in other countries wealthy.

        That lands needs to be taken back and given to the rightful owners. The current squatters don’t deserve reparations for losing “their” land. They should consider themselves lucky that their profits up till this point aren’t demanded returned in full.

        It’s funneling the wealth right out of Kenya. Classic wyte colonizer tactic even generations after.

  16. Mslove says:

    If we could get live coverage of Chuck signing a guest book, there’s a good chance he’ll go into a rage. Make it happen, Kenya.

  17. Beverley says:

    Stop talking like these atrocities were so long ago it doesn’t matter. If Agnes Wanjiru disappeared from a British military base 11 years ago – and is presumed dead – and the likely suspect is a British soldier who is being protected from accountability, then it’s clear that British crimes in Kenya continue to this day.

    Nothing will be done to satisfy the Kenyans. The perpetrators of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and the brutal, murderous colonizers will NEVER admit their evil, and they will never apologize to those non-whites they designated as “inferior” in order to enslave and lord over them.

    White supremacy is one hell of a drug, and very scant few want to shake the addiction.

  18. Myeh says:

    I feel so bad for the people in Kenya who want to make a business deal with a country that has acted in bad- no the worst faith in the past. They’re back to exploit you for their own interest and gain. Send the imperialist colonizer scum back and don’t trust them. I wish someone would help victims and their surviving kin/descendants of genocide sue these a-holes with interest accrued over time.

    • MoxyLady007 says:


      Those stealing murdering colonizers have no right to that land. They need to be driven out – no reparations, their blood money profits are more than enough – and the land returned to the Kenyans.

      The infrastructure and business deals need to be enriching the people and the nation of Kenya. Not the white overlords.

  19. Jay says:

    I think (I hope) that Charles is savvy enough to see that a full on colonialist cosplay (a la the Cambridge Caribbean disaster) would be a very bad look indeed. But I can’t see him making a fulsome apology, either, because not only would that be unpopular with British monarchists, but also because he doesn’t really feel that he has anything to apologize for. We have already seen non-apologies that focus on “what was done in the past” (always with the passive voice) and how he has “honoured” colonized peoples by keeping things looted by the empire. He probably thinks his mere presence is a gift and an honor to the Kenyan people.

    I think we’ll get a visit to the place where QEII became the monarch upon her father’s death, visits to some carefully selected monarchists, and then some mealy-mouthed euphemisms about “focusing on the future” and not bringing up the past.

  20. samipup says:

    “Recollections may vary”.

  21. phlyfiremama says:

    As Kenya prepares to send 10,000 troops to Haiti to protect…colonial interests. Oh, the irony!!