Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika

A KUT above

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KUT is the name on British postage stamps created for use in the three British colonies of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika. Circulated in the year between 1935 and 1963, by a joint postal service called the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration. Even in the wake of independence, the separate nations continued to use the KUT stamps and they remained valid for postage until 1977.

The colony of Kenya was part of the British Empire in Africa from 1920 until 1963. The Mau Mau Uprising between 1952 and 1960 occurred between the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA) and the British. The rebellion cost Britain £55 million and led to the death of over 11,000 people. The colony came to an end in 1963 when a black majority government was elected for the first time and worked to declare independence for Kenya.

In 1894, Uganda was declared a British protectorate. Since its independence from Britain in 1962, the east African nation has endured a military coup, followed by a brutal military dictatorship led by military leader Idi Amin that ended in 1979. Since 2005 and a referendum that endorsed multi-party politics (it was only in 1995 that a new constitution legalised political parties) the nation has gone from strength to strength and is an admired African entity.

The name Tanganyika is derived from the Swahili words for ‘sail’ and ‘wilderness’ and the vast plains of the area were considered uninhabitable for centuries. After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles lead to certain areas of Africa being divided among the victorious powers. The former German East Africa was adopted by the British and renamed. In 1964, it merged with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and was later renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

The most famous stamps of this area includes the stunning 1938-54 pictorial issue of King George VI with their beautiful designs featuring mountains, lakes, and sailing ships known as ‘dhows’. A collection that pays to testament to the three nations rich cultural legacy.