Torture chamber/ Solitary cell – Mweru Works Camp

The building reconstructed in the 3D model below, was a solitary cell/torture chamber in Mweru detention camp in Nyeri, Kenya. ‘Hardcore’ detainees would be kept here in solitary confinement separated from the rest of detainees for extended periods of time. Here they would be tortured, beaten and denied essentials such as food and water. After independence, the camp was later converted to a secondary school and today goes by the name Mweru High School .

The building stood at approximately 11ft wide, 9ft length and 4.9ft tall

Evidence for reconstruction

This building still stands today and is positioned centrally within Mweru high school, it has remained almost entirely unchanged since colonial times.  One notable addition is the erection of a sign board by the school which reads “ Mau Mau Torture Room, the hated the injustice, they took the oath and went to the forest. They were detained, harassed and tortured, they died for our FREEDOM”,

Present day structure at Mweru High School, notice the sign board

This solitary cell which is made of stone and an iron sheet roofing is the only structure of its kind remaining today. However, a conversation with Mau Mau veteran Wambugu wa Nyigi who was detained at the camp in the late 1950’s revealed that this was not the only such cell in the camp.

He mentioned that there were other structures such as this in different parts, however  most of them were entirely made out of mabati (iron sheets) which explains why they would not be as permanent as the stone structure .

3D visualisations and renders

3D visualization of the Solitary cell/ Torture chamber in Mweru camp as it would have appeared.
A 3D model of the same building as it appears today created using photogrammetry.

Contributing to the model

Do you have any thoughts, questions or comments to add to this reconstruction, let us know in the comment section below or email us at chao@africandigitalheritage.com

Software Programs used

  • Software used for 3D modelling – Blender
  • Software used for photogrammetry – Agisoft Photoscan
Model created by: Mike.K.Wakhame in collaboration with Chao Tayiana

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