A great man worthy of recognition is the late president Jomo Kenyatta, who was considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation. Jomo Kenyatta was born on October 20, 1893, as Kamau wa Ngengi to Wambui and Ngengi Wa Muigai in Gatundu, British East Africa, now known as Kenya (Republic of Kenya). His name Jomo Kenyatta came from the words “Jomo” meaning burning spear and “Kenyatta” which is Kikuyu for the fancy belt he often wore as well as for the Swahili “Taa ya Kenya” meaning the light of Kenya.
Jomo Kenyatta is best known as the first leader of a free unified Kenya and is also the one responsible for producing economic growth and stability in the country. Jomo Kenyatta achieved so much in his life; he was a leader, orator, journalist, scholar, teacher, farmer, biographer, conservationist, democrat, an elder statesman, and a visionary.
During his lifetime, Jomo Kenyatta had several spouses namely Grace Wahu, whom he married in 1919, Edna Clarke whom he had a short marriage with from 1942 to 1946, Grace Wanjiku who died in 1950, and Mama Ngina also known as Ngina Kenyatta from 1951 to 1978.
He was father of 8 children namely: Peter Muigai Kenyatta (1920; became a deputy minister). Margaret Kenyatta (1928; mayor of Nairobi and Kenya’s ambassador to the UN), Peter Magana Kenyatta (1943), Jane Wambui (1950), Christine Wambui (1952), Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (1961), Anna Nyokabi Muhoho Kenyatta (1964).
Jomo Kenyatta’s Influence on His Country of Birth
Jomo Kenyatta was known as the man who brought Kenya out of the dark. He is also treated as the founding father of the Kenya nation. The people of Kenya see him to be a man who brought the light of independence from colonialism. In his home country, where he ruled a just leadership for many years, he gave his people aspiration and strength despite hardships.
Jomo Kenyatta achieved many great achievements for his home country. During his leadership, he united the tribes and races in Kenya. In the 1974, Jomo Kenyatta affirmed a free primary education to the children of Kenya up to primary grade four. He is also recalled for his efforts on urging the people of Kenya to preserve their heritage and culture.
Jomo Kenyatta’s Influence on the World
Perhaps Jomo Kenyatta’s greatest influence and legacy to the world were found in his books and writings as well as his leadership skills and efforts to make Kenya a flourishing country free from colonialism. He is also a good model of a man who patronized his country’s culture and heritage above all. He also modeled to maintain a friendly and peaceful relationship with the West during his leadership. Jomo Kenyatta died in 1978.
Jomo Kenyatta truly led a full life with numerous achievements. What can you add, comment, or share about the life of the great leader Jomo Kenyatta? Share your comments with us.
By Liya Das