Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jomo Kenyatta Biography, Education, Achievements, Quotes, Speeches, History and Death.

Jomo Kenyatta (1891-1978) was a Kenyan statesman and the dominant figure in the development of African nationalism in East Africa. His long career in public life made him the undisputed leader of the African people of Kenya in their struggle for independence.

Early Political Career
In the Kenya of the 1920s the emerging nationalism of the African inhabitants was dominated by the dynamic Kikuyu peoples, the country's largest tribal grouping. They had proved receptive to some aspects of European culture, especially in education, and they began to attempt using the techniques of British democracy to secure their desired goals.

 Kenyatta, as one of the few educated Kikuyu, joined the Young Kikuyu Association in 1922. British opposition, however, prevented these organizations from achieving any success. The Kikuyu Central Association was created from the Young Kikuyu Association and the East Africa Association and, like all the former groupings, needed men trained in English.

In 1927 Kenyatta, one of the elite as an educated Kikuyu, was asked to become its general secretary, a position which he accepted in early 1928. His office entailed work to encourage the growth of a modern political consciousness among the Kikuyu and thus to develop a broad basis of support for the organization. This required extensive traveling throughout the extensive Kikuyu territory. During 1929 the organization decided to issue its own publication, the Kikuyu-language monthly Mwigwithania (The Reconciler), and Kenyatta was selected as its editor. It was probably the first newspaper produced by Africans in Kenya.

Politics in Kenya
Thus when Kenyatta returned to Kenya in September 1946, he was generally recognized by politically conscious Africans as the most effective leader for their new moves toward greater freedom. Many Europeans reacted also by regarding him as a potentially effective threat to their position of privilege. Kenyatta immediately began organizing a political movement which would be represented all over Kenya. In June 1947 he became president of the most effective African political movement to that time, the Kenya African Union. His efforts to encourage non-kikuyu to join the movement were successful and membership in the Kenyan African Union increased by over 100,000.

Trial and Imprisonment

Kenyatta was unable to control the extremists, and by 1952 the violence had risen to such a level, particularly in the so-called Mau Movement, that the British reacted by declaring a state of emergency. Kenyatta was arrested on October 20, the government considering that if the leader of the Kenya African Union were removed from political life the Mau Mau crisis, which had claimed nearly 200 European and 12,000 Mau Mau lives, would cease. They planned no reforms to meet African aspirations.
On January 12, 1962, Kenyatta was elected to the Kenyan Legislative Assembly to represent the constituency of Fort Hall. On April 10, he agreed to serve in a coalition government as minister of state for constitutional affairs and economic planning. In the May 28, 1963 elections Kenyatta led his African National Union party to victory. Kenyatta was invited to form a government and became self-governing Kenya's first prime minister on June 1. He took steps to reassure the European farmers about their future and also appealed to the freedom fighters and members of the Mau Mau to lay down their arms and join the new nation.

On December 12, 1963 Kenya became the 34th African state to gain independence. The duke of Edinburgh was in attendance as the colonial flag was lowered at midnight and the new Kenyan flag raised.

Ruling Kenya
The first years of Kenyan independence were dominated by restructuring and rebuilding the nation. In November of 1964 Kenyatta convinced the rival Kenya African Democratic Union and its leader, Ronald Ngala, to dissolve and join Kenyatta's Kenyan African National Union party to form a single chambered National Assembly. Ngala had been Kenyatta's greatest political rival because his party stood for regional autonomy while Kenyatta's party stood for a strong central government.

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