Forward To Independence – My Memoirs

Author: Fitz de Souza
Self-published (2019)

The best part of Dr De Souza’s memoirs is the conveying of the spirit of freedom that his generation exemplified in the immediate post-War years in Kenya from 1945-1963. They were strongly influenced by the anti-colonial feeling throughout the world and were particularly moved by the Indian independence struggle. They were committed to Kenyan dignity and to the decolonization of the colony. The generation understood they had the power to bring about change, and the desire to act, if not always the will. The book covers this period.  

The book has some historic photographs. Searching in my family records, I too was able to retrieve two relevant historic photographs of that period. One has Dr De Souza and my parents in it and the other has Ms Kanta Kapila, Advocate, mentioned severally in the book, in it with Jomo Kenyatta. She later went to India and made nationalist broadcasts in the early 1960s in support of Kenya’s freedom on All India Radio (AIR) in Delhi.

Advocate (partial view); FRS de Souza, Advocate, Kanta Kapila, Advocate, Mrs TE Nowrojee, J Bickerton Williams, LSK Treasurer, Achhroo Kapila, Advocate, (back to the camera) at a Law Society of Kenya dinner,  c1953 (Source: Collection EP Nowrojee)  

While enjoying Dr De Souza’s adventures, it might appear to readers that the true heroes of the book are the author’s courageous and self-sacrificing father and mother, Doctor De Souza and Mrs De Souza, who were ambitious for their son, shared his ideals and always stood by him. Theirs is a great story. Many other personalities are mentioned, though the book would have gained if it had not included several personal remarks about a highly respected colleague, remarks which are not necessary to the narrative.

BURNING SPEAR: Jomo Kenyatta and Indian lawyer, Miss Kanta Kapila, stand outside court building in Nairobi where [a] member of his Kenya African Union went on trial for ‘subversive activity’ c1951. (Source: Collection EP Nowrojee)

(Source: Collection EP Nowrojee)[Newspaper unknown, and not a photo contemporary of the apparent date of publication (14 January 1953), as by then Kenyatta was already in custody in his 1952-1953 Kapenguria Trial. It relates to a pre-Emergency case (c1951) against a KAU member, of which cases the Kapilas defended several.]

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