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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The cat with nine lives': Paul Ngei and the making of modern Kenya
Author:Osborne, MylesISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Kenya
political opposition
biographies (form)
About person:Paul Joseph Ngei (1923-2004)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2012.669570
Abstract:Every Kenyan knows a story about the Kamba politician Paul Jospeh Ngei (1923-2004). Ngei fought for Kenya's freedom from British colonial rule during the 1950s, then remained at the pinnacle of the political system in independent Kenya for almost three decades. Yet despite Ngei's prominence, he is almost entirely absent from the large volume of academic scholarship on Kenya. Bringing together testimony from his remaining family and past political associates, as well as utilizing archival records, this article presents a portrait of Ngei. It demonstrates the important role he played in shaping the history of colonial and independent Kenya. As one of the greatest orators in Kenya's history, with an ability to rally rural support like none other, Ngei was a profound threat for Kenya's presidents, especially Jomo Kenyatta. Ngei's ability to hold on to power despite controversy and scandal led the press to nickname him 'the cat with nine lives'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]