Mzee Jomo Kenyatta

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Disclaimer: Please note that this information is taken from a variety of sources, and I cannot personally vouch for its accuracy. A number of people seem to get quite irate with some of the claims made in here, and want me to alter them. If you can direct me to a more authoritative source, I'd be glad to update it.

KENYATTA ..... Taa ya Kenya or Swahili for the 'Light of Kenya' was the man who brought the light of independence to Kenya. Indeed, he was a beacon, a rallying point for suffering Kenyans to fight for their rights, justice and freedom.

His brilliance gave strength and aspiration to people beyond the boundaries of Kenya, indeed beyond the shores of Africa. Just as one light shines in total darkness and provides a raliying point, so did Ken-yatta become the focus of the freedom fight for Kenya over half a century to dispell the darkness and injustice of colonialism. Before matter can become light, it has to suffer the rigours of heat. So did Kenyatta suffer the rigorous of imprisonment to bring independence to Kenya. As the founding father of Kenya, and its undisputed leader, he came to be known as Mzee, Swahili for a respected eider.

No chronology can adequately reflect the many sided achievements of Mzee Kenyatta. His life is the life of the free Kenya nation chronicled here.

There is Kenyatta the leader who united all races and tribes for the freedom struggle; Kenyatta the orator who held his listeners entranced, Kenyatta the journalist who launched the first indigenous paper to voice his people's demands; Kenyatta the scholar who wrote the first serious study about his people; Kenyatta the teacher who initiated love for Kenyah culture and heritage; Kenyatta the farmer who loved his land and urged his people to return to it; Kenyatta the biographer who documented his 'suffering without bitterness'; Kenyatta the conser-vationist who protected Kenya's priceless fauna and flora; Kenyatta the father figure who showered love and affection on all; Kenyatta the democrat who upheld the democratic principle of one-man one-vote; Kenyatta the eider statesman who counselled other Heads of State, and finally Kenyatta the visionary who had a glorious image of Kenya's future and toiled to realise it.

Since ideas are more enduring than human bodies and sacrifices last longer than sermons thus the light that is Kenyatta burns on to illuminate the path of Kenya.

Kamau wa Ngengi

1889-1895 Kamau wa Ngengi is born to Muigai and Wambui at Ng'enda, Gatundu Division of Kiambu District.
1896-1909 Muigai dies. Wambui is inherited by Muigai's younger brother Ngengi. Wambui gives birth to James Muigai but leaves Ngengi's house to return to her parents where she dies. Kamau moves from Ng'enda for Muthiga to live with grandfather Kingu Magana, a fortuneteller and medicineman.
1909 Nov Joins Church of Scotland Mission, Thogoto, where he obtains elementary education and carpentry training.
1912 Finishes elementary school and becomes an apprentice carpenter.
1913 Circumcised at Nyongara stream near Thogoto Mission to become member of Kihiu Mwiri/Mebengi age group.

Johnstone Kamau

1914 Aug-Christened as John Peter Kamau but changes name to Johnstone Kamau. Travels to Nairobi to seek employment.
1915 Works on a sisal farm in Thika under engineer John Cook, who was previously in charge of building programme at Thogoto.
1916 Falls serious ill, spurns help from a missionary doctor and turns to his friend, Charles Stokes, at Tumutumu, who nurses him back to health.
1917 Evades forced recruitment as ablebodied Kikuyu by living in Narok where he works for an Asian contractor. Wears Masai-belt with 'Kinyata' written on it.
1918 Returns to Nairobi in Search of employment. Works as store keeper for Stephen Ellis. Attends Church Missionary Service evening classes.
1919 Marries Grace Wahu according to Kikuyu tradition.
1920 Becomes an interpreter in Sub-chief Kioi's land case in a Nai- robi court.
Oct 22 Answers charges before Church elders for marrying without Church rites and drinking liquor. Ordered to get married before a European magistrate.
Nov 20 Peter Muigai Kenyatta is born to Grace Wahu.
1923 Gets rehabilitated into the Church after promising to refrain from liquor. Part of Dagoretti home is turned into a provision shop, Kinyata Store, which becomes a meeting place for his Nairobi friends of many tribes.
1922 Secures a job at Shs 250 per month as stores clerk and water meter reader with Nairobi Municipal Council where John Cook is Water Superintendent. Buys a bicycle and builds a house at Dagoretti. Joins Kikuyu Central Association.
1922 Nov 8 Gets married to Grace Wahu in a civil ceremony.
1924 Begins to take interest in political activities of KCA leaders, James Beauttah and Joseph Kang'ethe.
1926 Helps Kikuyu Central Association in drafting letters and translation. Becomes Kikuyu Central Association Secretary.
1928 Feb 28 Accompanies Kikuyu Central Association officials to give evidence to Hilton Young Commission. Daughter Margaret Wambui is born.
May Starts to edit Kikuyu weekly Mwigwithania. The Reconciler, printed by an Asian-owned press.
1928 Jun 18 Presents evidence before a Legco select committee on land management.
June-Dec Travels widely in Kikuyuland on his motorcyle setting up KCA branches.
1929 Kikuyu Central Association decides to send him to Britain to present African grievances before Colonial office. Indian leader and Legco member, Mr Isher Dass, collects funds for his trip.
Feb 17 Sails from Mombasa with Mr lsher Dass who is to present a similar petition for the Indian community.
Mar 8 Arrives in Britain.
1929 Writes articles in English papers "Give Back Our Land". Visits Moscow.
1930 Writes to Colonial Office about his fears of arrest on return to Kenya.
1929 Writes a letter in The Times and The Manchester Guardian about the unrest in Kenya.
1930 Sep 24 Back home, reaches Mombasa to be welcomed by Beauttah and wife Wahu. Works for Kikuyu Independent Schools in Githunguri.
1931 May 2 Leaves Kenya for Britain to put forward Kikuyu Central Association views before a Parliamentary Commission. On being ignored by the Commission, enrols at Quaker College, Woodbrooke.
1932 Easter-Complete Studies at Woodbrooke.
Jun Gives evidence before Carter Land Commission.
Aug Visits Russia again to start one year course at Moscow University at invitation of George Padmore, a radical West Indian.
1933 Returns to Britain after Padmore's disagreement with the Russians. Resumes campaign for his people.
1934-1938 Studies at University College, London. Works on Barlow's Kikuyu Dictionary. Enrolls at London School of Economics under Professor Malinowski.
1936 Breaks through a police cordon in London railway station to express solidarity with Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Writes articles and lectures all over Britain.

Jomo Kenyatta

1938 Publishes his magnum opus Facing Mount Kenya - under the name Jomo Kenyatta, proper sounding name for an African author.
1940 Takes up works as a film actor and farm worker.
1942 May 11 Marries an English governess, Edna Clarke, at Chanc- tonbury Registry office, West Sussex.
Publishes My People of Kikuyu and The Life chief Chief Wang'ombe, a history shading into legend.
1943 Aug 11 Peter Magana Kenyatta is born to Edna.
1945 Feb Organises World Trade Union Congress.
Oct Organises Fifth Pan African Congress in Manchester with Kwame Nkrumah with slogans 'Freedom Now' and 'Africa for Africans'
1946 Sep Returns to Kenya. Marries Grace Wanjiku, sister of Mbiyu Koinange and daughter of the late Senior Chief Koinange. Becomes principal of Kenya Teachers College Githunguri.
1947 Jun 1 Becomes President of Kenya African Union - KAU - with the stepping down by Juntas Gichuru.
1948-1951 Tours and lectures around the country condemning idleness, robbery and urges hard work while campaigning for the return of land given to White settlers. Calls for independence within three years. KAU banned. Mau Mau freedom fight begins.
1950 Attends a joint meeting of KAU and Kenya Indian Congress in Nairobi where Trade Unionist Makhan Singh's resolution for freedom for East Africa is passed. Wife Grace Wanjiku dies in childbirth.
1951 May Meets British Secretary of State for Colonies, James Griffiths. to propose a constitution conference before May 1953.
1951 Sep Marries Ngina Muhoho. daughter of Chief Muhoho and Nvokabi.
1952 Aug 24 Addresses a mammoth KAU public meeting at Kiambu.
Sept Christine Warnbui is born to Ngina.
Oct 7 Attends funeral of Senior Chief Waruhiu with Governor Baring amid threats to his life by White settlers.
Oct 20 Emergency is declared. Arrested under 'Operation Jock Scot' with 182 other African leaders.
Nov 18 Charged with managing Mau Mau at Kapenguria - defended by D N Pritt, QC. Diwan Chaman Lall. an Indian MP sent by Prime Minister Nehru, Kenyan-Indian lawyers, F R S De Souza and A R Kapila and Nigerian advocate, HO Davies.
1953 Apr 8 Sentenced to seven years hard labour and indefinite restriction thereafter. Imprisoned at Lokitaung, N W Kenya.
1954 Jul Pritt exhausts all legal arguments before Privy Council which refuses appeal.
1959 Apr 14 Completes prison sentence at Lokitaung and restricted at Lodwar 90 miles south. Joined by wife Ngina and two young daughters.
1959 Testifies against Crown witness Rawson Macharia whose evidence had influenced Kapenguria trial.
1960 Ambu Patel, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, forms 'Release Jomo Committee' to whip up public support.
Mar 27 Ambu Patel holds first demonstration in Kiambu to release Jomo and colleagues
1960 Feb 28 Public meeting of 25,000 in Nairobi demands Kenyatta's release.
1960 Apr 15 Over a million signatures for a plea to release Kenyana are presented to the Governor by Nairobi Peoples Convention Party.
May 14 Is elected Kanu President in absentia.
1961 Mar 23 Kenyan leaders, including Mr DT arap Moi, visit Lodwar.
Apr 11 Moves to Maralal with daughter Margaret. Meets world press for the first time in eight years.
Aug 14 Released and brought to Gatundu to a hero's welcome.
Sept 3 Welcomed by Mombasa residents.
Sept 10 Nairobi Indians offer a mammoth welcome to Kenyatta with a 100,000-strong crowd.
Oct 28 Becomes President of Kanu.
1961 Leads Kanu delegation to Lancaster Conference in London.
1962 Leads Kanu delegation to second Lancaster Conference in London.
1963 May 11-26 Leads Kanu to victory at polls.
Jun 1 Forms Government as Prime Minister on Madaraka (Self-Gov-ernment) Day.
Aug 12 Convinces White settlers to work for a free Kenya and to 'forgive and forget'.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta

Dec 12 Becomes Prime Minister of a free Kcnya. Ngina gives birth to son, Uhuru.
1964 Ngina gives birth to Muhoho.
1964 Dec 12 President Jomo Kenyatta becomes President of Kenya.
1966 Suffers a heart attack.
1968 Publishes biography: Suffering Without Bitterness.
1970 Jan 29 Sworn in as President for the second term.
1972 Jun 1 Tells huge rally of threats to his life.
1973 Jan 28 Daughter Jeni gets married to Udi Gecaga.
1974 Nov 5 Installed as President for the third term.
1977 Apr Suffers a heart attack.
1978 Aug 14 On 17th anniversary of his release, hosts a family reunion in Mombasa for which his son Peter Mugaria and family fly in from Britain.
Aug 22 Dies peacefully in his sleep in presence of Mama Ngina and son, Peter Muigai.
Aug 31 State funeral artended by Heads or State and royalty to witness the burial of Mzee Kenyatta in mausoleum in Parliament Buildings, Nairobi.

Text is copyright Newspread International, and is taken from the Kenya Factbook, 15th edition, 1997-1998.

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