Joseph D. Otiende was a pioneer educator, politician, administrator, freedom fighter, MP and Cabinet minister, and he is still engaged in community leadership in Western Province. With others, this nonagenarian offered selfless service that led to political independence and provided the building blocks of Kenya’s nationhood. He held several Cabinet dockets in President Jomo Kenyatta’s … Read more

Lawrence George Sagini was born at Gesonso, Kisii, on January 1, 1926, the first son of Ndemo Kibagendi and Esther Nyanganyi. His father was the president of the African Tribunal Courts in Kisii. Sagini belonged to the Mwabogonko clan, which traces its roots to Nyakundi, a fearless warrior who confronted the British expeditionary forces. Sagini … Read more

If reference checks were the key to securing a Cabinet position, Dawson Mwanyumba would not have made it to Kenyatta’s first Cabinet as Minister for Public Works, Communications and Power. A trained mathematics teacher who was quick to anger and even faster to use his fist against those he found too slow for his liking, … Read more

Thomas Joseph Mboya will be remembered as one of the most charismatic and most flamboyant Cabinet Ministers Kenya has had. At independence in 1963, he was appointed the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. In 1965, he was moved to the Ministry of Economic Planning. TJ, as he was popularly known, was born on August … Read more

Apart from holding brief clerical jobs in the two years between leaving Alliance High School in 1945 and joining South Africa’s Fort Hare University in 1948, John Njoroge Mungai was a country bus driver, ferrying passengers between Limuru and Nairobi. The later Defence Minister recalls: “I got my Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence in 1946, … Read more

Samuel Onyango Ayodo was one of the youngest members of Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta’s first Cabinet. Ayodo was 33 years old when he was appointed to be part of a new crop of leaders to shape the destiny of the young nation at independence in 1963. He was the son of a former assistant chief … Read more

In his sunset years, Jackson Harvester Angaine styled himself the “King of Meru”. He will be remembered as the minister who had the trickiest docket in independent Kenya: Settling millions of landless Kenyans in the former White Highlands. He also played a leading role in creating an African propertied class, leading to gross inequities in … Read more

Freedom fighter Ramogi Achieng Oneko will be remembered as a principled politician who was ready to die for his country. He was the only freedom fighter who was detained by the colonial and the Kenyatta regime, and lived to tell the story. He was in Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta’s first Cabinet as the Minister for … Read more

Born in 1922 in Kilifi, Ronald Gideon Ngala went to St John’s School, Kaloleni, Shimo la Tewa and later Alliance High School. He then joined Makerere College for a diploma in education. He taught at St John’s and Taveta’s Mbale Secondary schools between 1949 and 1954. He moved to Taita and Buxton (Mombasa), where he … Read more

In 1963, Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta appointed C.M.G. Argwings-Kodhek an Assistant Minister for Defence. In 1966, he was promoted to head the Ministry of Natural Resources and eventually in 1967 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was a true hero of the independence movement whose personal sacrifice, determined resistance and unfailing courage are good examples … Read more