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Amar Wahab

Pan‐Africanistleader in Britain in the early 1900s. Born in Sierra Leone, in 1869 he was sent to Cheshire to be educated and started working for the family firm, Broadhurst and Sons, in Manchester in 1905. By 1936 he is known to have been a cocoa merchant in the Gold Coast. He was heavily involved in the realm of Pan‐Africanist politics in Britain, becoming a founder member of the African Progress Union between 1911 and 1925. He became secretary of the Union in his sixties and continued as a member of the executive committee until its end. He worked with other leading supporters such as Duse Mohamed Ali, Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks, and ‘the Black doctor of Paddington’ John Alcindor The Union organized around issues related to the welfare of Africans and Afro Peoples worldwide and vociferously advocated self determination This involved for example protests about ...


Ntewusu Aniegye

Ghanaian business leader, nationalist, and politician, was born on 17 June 1913 in Warri, Nigeria, to Emma Dey and Awummee Gbedema from Anyarko, in the present-day Volta region of Ghana. Gbedemah was the eldest son among six siblings. He received his elementary education from 1916–1927 in Keta in the Volta region, and Accra. In 1928 he sat for the Junior School Certificate Examination and passed, enabling him to attend Achimota School.

At Achimota, after failing to earn the required grade in the qualifying examination, Gbedemah could not obtain a scholarship to pursue his dream of a career in medicine. He did, however, gain employment as a part-time proofreader and editor of the Times, owned by J B Danquah a leading Gold Coast as present day Ghana was called during the colonial era nationalist and one of the founding members of the United Gold Coast Convention UGCC His work with ...


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 ...


Terence M. Mashingaidze

, pioneer trade unionist and nationalist politician in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was born on the eve of colonial rule in 1890 at Saba village in the Thekwane area of Matabeleland. He was the first child of Nthoyiwa Ndlovu and his second wife, Bantema. Ndlovu spent his teens alternating between working in the fields, hunting, and herding cattle. In 1910 he moved to the burgeoning city of Bulawayo, where he worked at Thomas Meikle department store as a “post boy.” Realizing that limited education was a handicap in the industrial milieu prompted Ndlovu to migrate to South Africa in 1919 in pursuit of a Western education. He settled in Cape Town, where he worked and studied. He passed his standard six and proceeded to do an English course at matriculation level with the International Correspondence College.

Ndlovu s stint in South Africa sharpened his nationalist consciousness and trade union interests ...


Lorna Lueker Zukas

bookkeeper and revolutionary who helped to start the Zimbabwean liberation movement, was born 8 July 1926 on the Chiota Reserve near Salisbury (Harare) in Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). George Nyandoro was born into a family of fiercely independent individuals who were unafraid to struggle against while political domination. He was the son of MaShona Chief Mazhazhe Nyandoro, whom the colonial authorities deposed in 1946 after he complained about a lack of benefits for returning World War II veterans Mazhazhe protested the fact that white servicemen received farms as a reward for service during the war while black soldiers received bicycles Nyandoro was the grandson of Chief Kunzwi Nyandoro a leader in the 1896 1897 resistance war against colonial invaders Nyandoro attended primary school up to standard six grade six at St Mary s Anglican Mission School He left school to work in a store in Salisbury to support himself and his ...


Robert Maxon

Kenyan herbalist, cook, farmer, and the paternal grandfather of US President Barack Obama, was born in Kanyadhiang near Kendu Bay on Lake Victoria in what is now Rachuonyo District in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Onyango’s grandfather, Opiyo, had moved to the Kendu Bay region from Alego, north of the Nyanza Gulf, earlier in the nineteenth century in search of more and better land than was available to the family in Alego.

From an early age Onyango was characterized by a seriousness of purpose and a wanderlust His wandering off on his own and desire to learn led to study with specialists to become an herbalist Onyango s curiosity and thirst for knowledge also led him to leave his home for the port town of Kisumu Colonial rule was not established in the Kendu Bay area until some five years after the transfer of Nyanza Province from Uganda to the East Africa ...


Gloria Chuku

Nigerian market trader and businesswoman who wielded enormous influence in the nineteenth-century politics of Lagos and Abeokuta, was born Efunporoye Osuntinubu Olumosa (commonly shortened to Efunroye Tinubu) around 1805 to Owu parents in the Yoruba town of Abeokuta, in present-day western Nigeria. Efunroye learned the art of trading from her mother, Nijeede, who was a food-seller, and from her grandmother, Osunsola, who dealt in leaves, herbs, roots, and tree bark. She married an Owu man with whom she had two sons. Shortly after, her mother and her husband both passed away. As a widow, she started trading in leaves and tree bark. She met and married Adele in 1833, who was an exiled oba or king of Lagos She followed him to Badagry where she established a lucrative enterprise in salt and tobacco which she exchanged for slaves from Abeokuta Through commercial associations with Brazilian slave dealers and other ...