As part of our research and policy support MPRC engages with practical opportunities offered by the media environment to document and content. Several other documentaries are proposed in this bio pictorial genre.
“The Poor Man’s Watchman” – Conversations with Joseph Martin Shikuku
Veteran politician Martin Shikuku had a remarkable career that spanned half a century, starting before independence when he was barely 20 years old. For more than 50 years beginning before Kenya’s independence few people have played a direct role in the political evolution of Kenya in the way that Martin Shikuku did. From his support for the struggle for independence as a twenty year old railway line worker, through the evolution of a fledgeling trade union movement to the time when Shikuku was selected as one of a handful of Kenyans who negotiated the independence constitution at Lancaster House, United Kingdom. He later joined national politics serving as a member of parliament under two regimes – that of founding President Jomo Kenyatta and later under President Daniel arap Moi. He served in the cabinets as an Assistant Minister to both Presidents until his removal for his vociferous opposition to corruption. He was detained without trial under under Kenyatta. Shikuku was 77 years old at the time of making this documentary and even at his advanced age he remained vocal, visible and active in opposition politics under Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki as a fierce campaigner for the review of the constitution. He was nationally known as a human rights defender. This documentary offers a study of the evolution of constitutionalism and constitution development through the eyes of one man and his reflections on a life given to the fight for democracy. Shikuku died in 2012 but his legacy remains.
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