Tom Mboya

Born in 1930 in Nairobi, Thomas Joseph Odhiambo ‘Tom’ Mboya was one of the principal leaders of Kenya’s independence movement.

He attended Holy Ghost College, a secondary school and went on to train as a sanitary inspector at the Kenya Medical Department, where he was elected president of the student council.

Once working, Tom devoted his energies to union work, helping to found the Kenya Local Government Workers Union. He gradually moved into politics, joining the Kenya Africa Union as Acting Treasurer, and would become the General Secretary of the Kenya Federation of Labour. In the Mombasa dock strike of 1955, Tom helped secure a 33 percent pay rise for workers.

In 1955 Tom attended Ruskin to study on the Industrial Management course. On returning to Kenya, he went into politics and was elected to the Legislative Council in 1957. As Kenya went on to independence, Tom became Minister of Economic Planning and Development. He was assassinated in July 1969.

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