Mzee Jomo Kenyatta

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta

  • He was born in 1893 at Nsenda near Nairobi and he was a kikuyu by tribe.
  • Between 1909 and 1916, he attended a Presbyterian Mission School where he was baptized Johnston Kamau Wa’Ngenyi.
  • Between 1922 to 1928, Kenyatta worked as a water inspector for Nairobi municipality.
  • During this period, he was an active member of a Kikuyu political organization and it was here that he changed his name to Kenyatta (Kenya’s light) due to the political awakening he had received.
  • In 1928, he was elected Secretary General of the Kikuyu Central Association whose main aim was to recover land lost to white settlers.
  • He also became the editor of the Kikuyu Language Journal called ‘’Muigi Thania’’ (Unity).
  • In 1929, he went to London as a representative of the Kikuyu Central Association and pleaded for the African loss of land to the colonial secretary. He returned to Kenya in 1930.
  • In 1931, he left for England and studied anthropology at the London School of Economics.
  • While in London, he wrote his first book “facing mount Kenya” one of the most reliable books on African anthropology.
  • In 1945, he organized the Manchester Pan African Congress with Kwame Nkrumah, George Padmore and others.
  • The following year (1946) he returned to Kenya and was given a hero’s welecome by hi kikuyu people.
  • In July 1946, he replaced James Gichuru as the leader of Kenya African Union (KAU), a party that demanded for more African representation on the Legco.
  • Around the same time, He became an active member of Mau Mau and with General China, Dedan Kimathi and Tom Mboya as the leaders of the movement.
  • He also served as a principal of Githunguri Teacher Training College but his stay was short lived because, He was sacked by the colonial government due to his growing popularity.
  • In 1951, Kenyatta presented a memorandum to the Colonial Secretary Griffith, containing African demand for self-rule.
  • In 1953, he was arrested on suspicion that he was the real power behind the Mau Mau guerilla activities.
  • He was sentenced to seven years in prison with other leaders e.g. General China and Dedan Kimathi.
  • In 1960, KANU was formed by African leaders in the Legco and they elected Kenyatta as president while still in prison.
  • In 1961, he was released from prison and he assumed leadership of KANU.
  • As independence drew nearer, Kenyatta tried to reconcile KADU and KANU but his attempts failed.
  • In January 1962, he was elected to the Legco and during general elections, KANU won with an over whelming majority.
  • In February 1962, Kenyatta attended the second Lancaster House Conference that was called to draw up a constitution for Kenya.
  • In May 1963, elections were held and KANU won with eighty two seats and its rival KADU got forty one seats.
  • On 1st June 1963, Kenya attained self-rule and Kenyatta became prime minister.
  • On 12th December 1963, Kenya achieved total independence at Uhuru stadium, With Jomo Kenyatta as the first President of Kenya.
  • In 1978, Kenyatta died.


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