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Stephen J. Rockel

Tanzanian political leader, was the last and most distinguished of a long line of mtemi, or chiefs, of Unyanyembe, including the great nineteenth-century chiefs Swetu, his namesake Fundikira I, and Isike. Abdallah Fundikira’s father, Saidi Fundikira II, was deposed by the British in 1929 and sent into exile in Bagamoyo after embezzling more than £10,000 of tax money. Unyanyembe was the most important chiefdom of the Nyamwezi, one of the largest ethnic groups in present-day Tanzania, and its nineteenth-century chiefs were central players in the development of commerce based on the caravan trade. Their capital village, Itetemia, lay just outside the city of Tabora, which was the largest urban center in Tanganyika (as the territory was then known), until it was overtaken by the colonial capital, Dar es Salaam, around 1920 Tabora remained an important provincial capital railway junction and military and educational center through the colonial period ...

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Michael Mwenda Kithinji

Kenyan scholar and politician, was the first-born son of Senior Chief Koinange of Kiambu. Mbiyu was named after his grandfather Mbiyu wa Gachetha, one of the earliest colonial chiefs in Kenya. His chiefly background provided him with an opportunity to pursue elementary education at an early age, joining the pioneer class of the Alliance High School in 1926. In 1927, he transferred to the Hampton Institute in Virginia. While at Hampton, Mbiyu noticed the absence of authentic African artifacts at the Hampton Museum and requested that his father address the problem. Koinange responded to his son’s request by shipping a container load of various African artifacts, which the museum used to establish the Koinange collection.

In 1930, Mbiyu joined Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he studied for a degree in political science. He graduated in 1934 the first Kenyan African to obtain a bachelor s ...