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The Gunnysack A collection of stories of the lives of African Asians during de-colonization The Gunnysack cleverly illustrates the formation of TANU the impact of class formations and the relationship Asians had with the African Nationalist movement during this period It is the fictional account of one very extended familys existence in East Africa through a compilation of memories and oral history passed on through generations The stories took place in the East African communities of Kenya Uganda Zanzibar and Tanganyika It is the main city and port of Tanganyika Dar es Salaam in which the majority of the elaborate tale takes place The city was highly concentrated with Indian workers and merchants during this time when discontent grew rapidly with the development of class-consciousness Infuriated by the exploitation of colonialism a rise in the spirit of nationalism was triggered among Africans In 1945 and 1948 peasant revolts erupted in Uganda and later in 1952 Mau Mau occurred in Kenya Mau Mau was a very violent peasant revolt that frightened many Europeans as well as Asians in East Africa in which African peasants formed the Land Freedom Army and killed 32 of the 4000 European settlers This frightened them so much that Europeans sent those whom they believed were Mau Mau to detention camps in which more than 15000 Africans lost their lives 2000 of which were actually Mau Mau The Gunny Sack illustrates the fear of Mau Mau and being associated with them possessed by Asians during the uprisings when a families begin not to trust their servants for fear that they will kill them Asians like many demonstrated in the book referred to as commercial bourgeoisie had no desire to associate with Africans because it was in their best interest according to themselves and Europeans not to be labeled Mau Mau sympathizers Vassanji 78 The formation of an independence movement became visible and after World War II formations of alliances as well
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