By David Ngaruri Kenney
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Extra info for Asylum Denied: A Refugee's Struggle for Safety in America
For three years, the farmer tends the seedlings and weeds the bushes, sometimes surviving on only one meal a day. After three years, he must pay 50 shillings for a license that prohibits him from selling his leaves to anyone but the KTDA and from growing any other crops. ” Then I outlined the economics of tea farming. In front of all the farmers, I laid out the costs of growing tea, the taxes and charges that the government imposed, and the low price that the KTDA offered for tea leaves. 34 / The Farmers’ Boycott I explained that we had recently met with some local KTDA representatives to ask about the huge discrepancy between the market price for processed tea and the price we were paid for the leaves.
We conducted our planning meetings in secret because we knew that the government of Kenya did not tolerate challenges to its policies. Daniel arap Moi, the president of Kenya, had come to power in 1978 upon the death of Kenya’s ﬁrst president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. My father had greatly admired Kenyatta, who had been able to convince white settlers that they could remain in Kenya under a black president. When he heard about Kenyatta’s death, my father looked as though he had lost a close friend. He told me, “Our Muthamaki [great leader] has died.
For the ﬁrst time, I noticed that there were physical differences among white people. Phil introduced him as Marc Cassidy, another Peace Corps worker, who was based in Nakuru, a city more than a hundred miles west of my village. Marc asked whether I was a Masaai, and we started to talk about Kenyan tribes. But Phil suddenly interrupted, saying he had heard that there had been a big tea growers’ boycott in our district, that the leader Basketball / 49 had been arrested, and that nobody seemed to know what had happened to that leader.
Asylum Denied: A Refugee's Struggle for Safety in America by David Ngaruri Kenney