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Waiyaki wa Hinga  

Godfrey Muriuki

was a major Kikuyu trader and leader in Kenya. By the 1880s the Kikuyu who had migrated from Murang’a had occupied Kiambu and reached the outskirts of what is now Nairobi. The frontier was a land of opportunity. Individuals were able to acquire land from the Dorobo, or Athi, through purchase, conquest, or creating family relationships through adoption. Kiambu had rich volcanic soils, and the area was blessed with plenty of rain. Being expert agriculturalists, the Kikuyu made full use of the newly acquired virgin land to grow plenty of foodstuffs. And by coincidence, their expansion coincided with the arrival of trading parties from Mombasa on their way to the interior.

The region between the coast and the highlands was barren, or nyika. Consequently caravan parties of Arabs and Swahili could not obtain provisions until they reached Machakos and Kikuyu land For this reason the frontier of Kikuyu ...