Askari is the term that was used by several European colonial powers in Africa for indigenous men drafted into colonial service. This unusually large imposing sculpture of an askari was made by a Kamba carver in the period between the two World Wars.
Figural carving was not an indigenous tradition of the Kamba, it was initiated by the Kamba carver, Mutsiya Munge, who served in the Colonial Carrier Corps in Dar es Salaam during World War 1. While he was there he observed the success that Zaramo carvers were having by making and selling figural pieces. Upon his return home to Wamunyu in southern Kenya after the war ha began carving figures to sell.
He was successful in his pursuit and one of his specialties was making askari figures. His success spawned a cottage industry that was active between the wars carving figures for the colonials in Kenya. This carving, if not by the hand of Mutsiya Munge, may be the product of an apprentice or collaborator in his circle.