When I strayed during my High School days, I would pass by the late Tom Mboya’s house and many times, the lights in his study were mostly on up to about 3 AM, they say he was self educated and he studied into the wee hours of the morning. Early the following morning you would see him on the papers at some functions. This man worked hard, things did not just come easy to him.
When I attended University in Northern California, I was told a story of how, when John F. Kennedy was campaigning for president, and there with him was a young African leader. Kennedy introduced him ” ~ I have here today with me one of Africa’s rising stars, and I want him to stand up for two minutes, greet you, and tell you what he would like me to do for his country when I become president.”
Tom Mboya stood up and said “~ Senator Kennedy, my country is poor and we only have a handful of college graduates, when you become president, our prayer is that you help us train our future leaders by granting them admissions into American Universities, giving them scholarships, and because we cannot even afford the air tickets, providing us chartered airplanes to bring them to US…”
Tom Mboya was such an eloquent speaker; his words were etched in the minds of those who heard him that day, when he was assassinated, I saw something I have never seen in US- special edition newspapers in midday ” Africa’s shinning star assassinated in the streets of Nairobi”
As a result of the late Tom Mboya’s efforts, in 2008/09, the African country that had most people in US was Kenya.
We love and recognize one of Kenya’s greatest sons and specifically for his great acts. He may have gotten into cross-hairs with another great son of Kenya and a consistent nationalist Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, but we recognize each one of them for their most unselfish contributions.
Tom Mboya will continue to inspire us with his work for centuries to come. I hope the unveiling of his statute will embody those virtues and continue to inspire us as Tom Mboya always did.
BY: Peter Mwaniki -US