David Hyde

The Nairobi General Strike, 1950: From Protest to Insurgency

Government Road, Nairobi, 1950

The Nairobi General Strike [1950] was the culmination of Kenya’s post war strike wave and urban upheaval. An unprecedented upsurge occurred with the general strikes in Mombasa [1947] led by the African Workers Federation [A.W.F.] and in Nairobi by the East African Trades Union Congress [E.A.T.U.C.]. While this has been termed and treated as a city wide strike, there is enough evidence to suggest a movement that went some way beyond Nairobi. The extent of the cohesion and reciprocal impacts amongst urban and rural Africans involved in the strike were underplayed by the colonial government and the media that followed it.

The East African Railway Strike, 1959-60: labour’s challenge of inter-territorialism

David Hyde examines a pivotal working-class struggle which erupted within East Africa’s transport system near the end of the colonial period. Though this was arguably the most important working-class struggle to occur during the decolonisation process within Britain’s African colonies, it has been rarely acknowledged and barely attended to.