Episode 1 (Trailer)
Dec 12, 1963. Independence Arena. The Union Jack was lowered. At 12:01, the flag of Independent Kenya was hoisted up to replace it. A new flag. A free country. Free at last.
It was a happy moment, but very brief. Because this….this was not freedom. Maybe Kenya was a free country. But the people of Kenya… They had the freedom to be hungry. Freedom to remain landless. Freedom to remain jobless. Freedom to remain uneducated. Freedom to live in poverty.
Only two years after independence, Kenya began killing its own freedom fighters. In 1965—less than two years from that time when the new Kenyan flag was raised up at Independence Arena—Kenya killed its first freedom fighter.
The man they killed, he understood too much.
He understood that your oppressors will not stop oppressing you if you ask nicely, that the only way British colonizers would leave is through organized violence—so he routed weapons to the Mau Mau forest fighters.
He understood that stolen land was the root of colonization—so he fought, both before and after independence, to take it back from elites.
He understood that colonization was not just economic control, but also mental control—so he supported small, radical newspapers in vernacular languages so that Africans could speak for themselves, to each other.
He understood that the struggles of Kenyans was the same as that in India, or in Angola, or in South Africa, or in the U.S.—so he created bridges of solidarity across all continents.
In other words, this man understood what freedom was. And he understood how to get it.
The British colonizers detained him for many years. They put him away on Manda Island. But...the new rulers of Kenya? They did not detain him. They assassinated him.
That man was Pio Gama Pinto.
You’re listening to “Until Everyone Is Free.” I’m your host, Stoneface. Together with our producer April Zhu, we will tell you the story of Pio Gama Pinto, Kenyan freedom fighter. But we tell this story in order to answer a very important question: How did the country of Kenya become free... without the people of Kenya getting free?