ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Study and Leisure in the 60s & 70s

Updated on April 20, 2017

How I Escaped a Massacre in 1969

A local TV channel recently aired an old reel of the spat between Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Odinga at ‘Russia’ Hospital in Kisumu and it brought to me fresh memories of an eventful and tragic 1969. Among the events that remain etched in my mind include the July assassination of politician and unionist Tom Mboya and the August visit of Pope Pius to Uganda (first modern Pope to visit Africa). That year closed out with the violent event that played out in Kisumu on October 25, 1969. I was then a Form 1 student in a catholic seminary in Kakamega which I had joined in Standard 6 two years earlier. The seminary was run by Mill Hill Fathers (mostly Irish). When ‘Bobby’ Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 the Rector, Father Kevin O’Rourke, declared a day of mourning stating that “the Irish fathers were so downcast they could not make it to class”. Even though the Kennedy brothers were second generation American, Irish Catholics back home and in every corner of the world regarded them as first cousins. The Kennedys trace their roots to Middle Ages Ireland and Scotland but their great grandfather Patrick left Ireland a pauper and went to Boston where his sons and grandsons were to create a massive political and business empire in the USA. This achievement raised the profile of Irish Catholic Americans to a new level, where previously they were frowned upon by upper class Presbyterian and Episcopalian ‘Brahmins’. The death of Tom Mboya also hit our Irish teachers rather hard as there was a very close link between Tom Mboya and the Kennedys and by extension to every Irish living in Kenya. The famous ‘airlifts’ that benefited B. Obama Sr., G. Saitoti, W. Maathai, J. Kamotho etc, as well as the establishment of what was called the Peace Corps, a part of USAID the agency that channels massive aid to Africa were attributed largely to a meeting Tom Mboya had with J F Kennedy in 1959. Jomo Kenyatta opened Pan African Paper Mills at Broderick Falls below Chetambe Hills on October 24. Speaking on KBC he expressed his frustration at not being able to pronounce the name Broderick and asked the crowd if there was a local name. The Bungoma political class of the day choose a Bukusu name ‘Webuye’ over what should have been a Tachoni name. The Tachoni are related to the Sabaot-Sebei of Mt Elgon. But due to pre and post colonial pressure from their Luhya neighbours they have succumbed to the incorrect position that somehow they belong to a (nonexistent) clan of the Bukusu.

After opening Pan Paper Jomo spent the night at State Lodge Kakamega. The next day, a Saturday, he proceeded to Kisumu. It had been arranged a day earlier that a Boys Scout contingent from the seminary would be ferried to Kisumu for crowd control. Luckily for us the lorry that was to take us to Kisumu could not leave the Kakamega DCs Office due to a mechanical breakdown. The most we did was clap for Mzee as he zipped by at high speed on the stretch of straight road abuting the gate into the seminary at Mukumu

And so I lived to tell this story.

I left St Peter’s Seminary after Form II and proceeded to Butula High in Marachi, Busia. There I learned indirectly from a son of late Paramount Chief Ongoma who was an officer of rank during the chaos at Kisumu that indeed the scene was violent and we would be most likely dead if we had made it to ‘Russia’ Hospital for that crowd control assignment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)