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Visions of the African Press in Colonial Kenya: What the Nationalists Imagined
Unformatted Document Text:  14 Uniting across race. Not only did African ethnic groups need to cooperate with other African groups, they sometimes had to find allies among the Asian population, which owned most of the nation’s printing presses. The very act of publishing a paper created the need for cooperation. Kenyatta’s paper, Muigwithania, was produced with help from Asian publisher and editors who "guided Mr. Kenyatta through editorial and printing intricacies." 39 When the Luo Thrift and Trading Company wanted to purchase its own press, it turned to Pio Gama Pinto, an Asian who argued for greater cooperation between Africans and Asians. His newspaper, Daily Chronicle, which put forward that point of view, sold the Luo a flatbed printing machine on which the Luo company ran off its newspaper. Pinto was also one of several Asians who worked as writers for the African papers, supplying them with political articles. The Asian-owned Colonial Times Printing Company printed Sauti ya Mwafrika and Habari za Dunia, both of which were also given financial backing by Asians. 40 Though many other Asian organizations tended to work only with other Asians, much of the Asian press was supportive of the Africans and their political movement. The offices of the Asian papers often served as meeting places for political activists of various ethnic groups and of both Africans and Asians. The Colonial Times editor Haroon Ahmed asserted that the British "drove a wedge between Asians and Africans" and offered the columns of The Times to Kenyatta and the KAU so that their message of unity could reach Asian readers as well. 41 In an interview with Colonial Times, Kenyatta also blamed the British for disunity, noting that the "two communities can work together on equal footing." 42 Pinto’s Daily Chronicle worked with the East African Trade Union 39 Roger G. Gregory. India and East Africa: A History of Race Relations within the British Empire, 1890-1939, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), 294. 40 Dana April Seidenberg, Uhuru and the Kenya Indians: The Role of a Minority Community in Kenya Politics, (Delhi: Vikas House Publishing, 1983),76. 41 Ibid 80, 89. 42 Ibid 81.

Authors: Wall, Melissa.
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14
Uniting across race. Not only did African ethnic groups need to cooperate with
other African groups, they sometimes had to find allies among the Asian population,
which owned most of the nation’s printing presses. The very act of publishing a paper
created the need for cooperation. Kenyatta’s paper, Muigwithania, was produced with
help from Asian publisher and editors who "guided Mr. Kenyatta through editorial and
printing intricacies."
39
When the Luo Thrift and Trading Company wanted to purchase
its own press, it turned to Pio Gama Pinto, an Asian who argued for greater cooperation
between Africans and Asians. His newspaper, Daily Chronicle, which put forward that
point of view, sold the Luo a flatbed printing machine on which the Luo company ran off
its newspaper. Pinto was also one of several Asians who worked as writers for the
African papers, supplying them with political articles. The Asian-owned Colonial Times
Printing Company printed Sauti ya Mwafrika and Habari za Dunia, both of which were
also given financial backing by Asians.
40
Though many other Asian organizations tended to work only with other Asians,
much of the Asian press was supportive of the Africans and their political movement.
The offices of the Asian papers often served as meeting places for political activists of
various ethnic groups and of both Africans and Asians. The Colonial Times editor
Haroon Ahmed asserted that the British "drove a wedge between Asians and Africans"
and offered the columns of The Times to Kenyatta and the KAU so that their message of
unity could reach Asian readers as well.
41
In an interview with Colonial Times, Kenyatta
also blamed the British for disunity, noting that the "two communities can work together
on equal footing."
42
Pinto’s Daily Chronicle worked with the East African Trade Union
39
Roger G. Gregory. India and East Africa: A History of Race Relations within the British
Empire, 1890-1939, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), 294.
40
Dana April Seidenberg, Uhuru and the Kenya Indians: The Role of a Minority
Community in Kenya Politics, (Delhi: Vikas House Publishing, 1983),76.
41
Ibid 80, 89.
42
Ibid 81.


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