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Ahmed Jdey

Tunisian union leader, journalist, writer, poet, militant nationalist, reformer, and social thinker, was a contemporary of Mohamed Ali al-Hammi, Aboulkacem Chebbi, Habib Bourguiba, ʿAbd al-ʿAziz Thaʿalbi, and other figures of the colonial period in Tunisia. He was born in Tunis. His father, Ali   Belhaj   Belgacem Ben Farhat El Hammi al-Fatnassi, was a native of Fatnassa, a quarter of the city of Gabès, in the south of Tunisia, and worked in a small family-owned business in Tunis. Little is known of Haddad’s mother. From 1905 to 1911 Haddad attended a qurʾanic school, where he memorized the Qurʾan and studied Arabic. He continued his studies at Zitouna University, where in 1920 he received the Attatwi diploma, having been trained in Muslim jurisprudence, language, literature, grammar, and theology. One of his professors was the Algerian shaykh ʿAbd al-Hamid ben Badis.

Haddad began working in 1921 as an administrative secretary Soon he left ...

Article

Cyprian B. Adupa

Tom Mboya was a nationalist politician and union organizer whose role was critical to the achievement of Kenyan independence in 1963. At the continental level, Mboya was a strong advocate of African unity, but his approach differed from that espoused by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, as Mboya favored regionalism as a first step toward the unity of the continent.

Born in August 1930 in Thika, where his father, Leonard Ndiege, worked as an overseer in a sisal plantation, Mboya started his formal education at the Catholic mission in Thika, where the lessons were mainly prayers and catechism. In 1942, Mboya was then transferred to St. Mary’s mission school at Yala in Central Nyanza, from where he sat for his Kenya African preliminary examinations in 1945 Mboya passed and joined the Holy Ghost College at Mangu in Central Province At the Holy Ghost College he became a student ...

Article

David Goldsworthy

Kenyan political leader, was born Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya near Thika, north of Nairobi, on or about 15 August 1930. He was the eldest of the six children of Leonardus Ndiege, a sisal cutter from Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, and Ndiege’s wife Marsella Awuor. By ethnic identity Mboya was a Suba Luo. He was baptized a Catholic and was given the additional name of Joseph at his confirmation. Between the ages of 7 and 17, he attended Irish-run schools in widely dispersed parts of the country. In his book Freedom and After (1963), he maintained that his nontribal outlook in later life owed much to a childhood during which he lived among and learned the languages of several of Kenya’s major ethnic communities, notably Luo, Kikuyu, and Kamba.

From 1948 to 1950 Mboya attended the Jeanes School a vocational training college at Kabete near Nairobi There ...

Article

Robert Fay

Tom Mboya was born in Kilima Mbogo, Kenya, near present-day Nairobi. The son of a poor Luo sisal cutter, he realized that he had a “keen sense of the political” while attending mission schools. He became politically active through the labor movement—the only legal avenue for social protest in colonial Kenya—while working as a sanitary inspector.

As elected secretary of the African Staff Association in 1951 and founder of the Kenya Local Government Workers Union in 1952 Mboya had an initial goal of better working conditions for Africans Soon however the British colonial government s repressive response to the Mau Mau Rebellion convinced him that economic improvements were not enough At a time when many nationalist leaders were detained in concentration camps Mboya became a leader in the independence struggle with strong support from Kenyan workers After spending two years at Oxford University studying industrial relations Mboya was elected ...