The Role of Orchestrated Propaganda to Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration

  • Lucy W. Waithanwa Department of Humanities (History) Karatina University, Karatina, Kenya
  • John Mwaruvie Department of Humanities (History) Karatina University, Karatina, Kenya
  • Lucy M. Maina Department of Languages, Karatina University, Karatina, Kenya
Keywords: Propaganda, Integration, Politics, Kenya, Unity


Tussling with ethnic animosities is a glaring challenge in Kenya’s national politics. This is despite the persistent calls for unity, in our rich but diverse cultural heritage, by Kenyan leaders across the socio-political and religious divides. The main objective of this paper is to explore the connection between orchestrated positive propaganda and the attainment of the so desired national unity. This paper is informed by the Propaganda Model of Media Control Theory which states how propaganda works in a mass media. This model tries to understand how the population is manipulated and how the social, economic and political attitudes are fashioned in the minds of people through propaganda. The paper borrows a leaf from the Chief Mau Mau Ideologue, Gakaara wa Wanjau, who was detained by the British colonial government from 1952 to 1959 because of his anti-colonial propaganda that threatened to unify the blacks against the minority white rule in Kenya. The application of positive propaganda by the Catholic Church, the ancient Greece and the government of the United States of America serve as good examples that a people’s opinion can be controlled for a worthwhile purpose. Historical research design is applied in the composition of this paper. Primary and secondary data collection and analysis leads to a reflection and subsequent conclusion that it is possible to piece together even a highly polarised society. National cohesion and integration are achievable through skillfully orchestrated positive propaganda in ways that are conversant to each individual ethnic group, even in vernacular where applicable. Negative propaganda can equally be destructive, the Nazi propaganda and the Rwandan genocide are cited as good examples. The paper therefore recommends that the Kenyan government should make a deliberate effort to fund anthropological research on each of the distinct ethnic groups. This should be towards an effort to come up with positive propaganda to make them patriotic and proud that they belong to the single Kenyan entity.


Berman, B. and Lonsdale, J. (2002), Unhappy valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa Book two: Violence and ethnicity. Nairobi: E.A.E.P.

Bradshaw, A. Propaganda for nation-building. Nat Hum Behav 3, 894 (2019).

Chapman, J. (2000), The power of propaganda, London: Thousand Oaks.

Dennis M. and James F. (n.d), Propaganda: Can word decide a war? Unpublished.

Durrani, S. (2006), Never be silent: Publishing and imperialism in Kenya 1884 – 1963. London: Vita Books.

Edward S. Herman and Noah Chomsky (1988). Manufacturing consent: The political economy of mass media. New York: Pantheon Books.

Gakaara, J. (1952), Mageria nomo mahota (The spirit of manhood and perseverance for Africans). Nairobi: Gakaara Book Service.

Gakaara W. (1971), Agikuyu, Mau Mau na wiyathi (Agikuyu Mau Mau and freedom) part one. Karatina: Gakaara Press Ltd.

Gakaara W. (1971), Agikuyu, Mau Mau na wiyathi (Agikuyu, Mau Mau and freedom) part two. Karatina: Gakaara Press Ltd.

Gakaara, W. (1989), Witikio wa Gikuyu na Mumbi (The creed of Gikuyu and Mumbi). Karatina: Gakaara Press Ltd.

Gakaara, W. (n.d), Nyimbo cia mau mau iria ciarehithirie wiyathi (Mau Mau songs that won independence). Karatina: Gakaara Press Ltd.

Harold D. (1927), The theory of political propaganda. American Political Science Association.

Kaggia, B. (1975), Roots of freedom. Nairobi; East African Publishers.

Kenyatta J. (1978), Facing Mount Kenya. Nairobi; Kenway Publications. Kournossoff G.M. (1959), The underlaying causes of the 1952 emergency in Kenya and a consideration of some of the immediate results. Columbia; University of British Columbia, M.A Thesis, unpublished.

Lower, M., Hauschildt, T. (2014). The Media as a Tool of War: Propaganda in the Rwandan Genocide. Human Security Centre, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Issue 2, No. 1.

Paul M. (2012), Amerian propaganda and the first world war: megaphone or gaggling order? University of Gaslow.

Ralph D. Carsey (1944). What is propaganda?Washington DC School of Journalism, University of Minnesta.

Wandai, K. (1990), “Kimathi” A tribute to a national hero. London: Oxford University Press.
How to Cite
Waithanwa, L., Mwaruvie, J., & Maina, L. (2022, June 28). The Role of Orchestrated Propaganda to Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration. African Journal of Education,Science and Technology, 7(1), Pg 457-467. Retrieved from