This Day in Black History: Oct. 20, 1893

African political leader Jomo Kenyatta was born in Ichaweri, Kenya.

Posted: 10/20/2012 07:00 AM EDT
Jomo Kenyatta

On Oct. 20, 1893, Jomo Kenyatta, who would go on to become Kenya's first president, was born in Ichaweri, Kenya.

Born Kamau Ngengi, he eventually took the name Jomo, translated to mean "burning spear," and "Kenyatta" as a reference to the elaborate belt he wore. A member of the Kikuyu tribe, Kenyatta rallied for land reform and African political rights under British rule.

Exiled by the British in 1959, he was released two years later and participated in negotiations for a new constitution.

In 1964, one year after Kenya gained its independence, Kenyatta, then serving as Kenya's first prime minister, was elected president of the Republic of Kenya. He held the position until his death in 1978.


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 (Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

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