photo“About a fortnight before he was assassinated, Tom Mboya changed his mind about addressing a Sussex University conference on development. Had he kept his engagement, he’d probably be alive today. For the weekend he was due in London he was shot in Nairobi. But he had written to the conference organizers crying off because of pressure of business. now his business is with history.

The conference was to have opened with a day devoted to Kenya’s development problems. But the man responsible for the economic planning lay dead in Nairobi. Instead, delegates heard a moving tribute to Mr. Mboya, which he would particularly have appreciated. He was never more at home than at these gatherings of international experts. And it is one of those tragic ironies that he should meet his end because he could not find time to attend one …”

The above excerpt from the well-written article “After Tom Mboya” was first published in the Kenya Weekly News on July 18th 1969, just 13 days after Tom Mboya’s assassination. I bumped into it while at the Kenya National Archives, last year researching on the library article  Treasure Trove: The Kenya National Archives & Documentation Services I was then writing for Goethe-Institut Nairobi.

To read the full article that has among praises for what Tom Mboya had achieved for such a young Pan-Africanist, and the shocking reality that Kenya is still tackling most of the developmental issues she was faced with over 40 years ago; just walk into The National Archives.

BONUS: The above is his statue set up by the Kenyan government on Tom Mboya street, a few years ago. It is said to be just a stone throw away from where the man died.