Ramogi Achieng Oneko

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Ramogi Achieng Oneko started off as a weather reporter in the Metrological Department, after graduating from the Maseno School. He plunged in politics in 1949 and made history as one of the first Africans to be elected councillor in Nairobi.

He quit later to found the Dholuo newspaper, Ramogi Weekly. His aim was to provide an alternative source of information for Africans, as those available, like The East African Standard, catered for the interests of the white colonialists.

Oneko was also the secretary of the Luo Thrift Union, a commercial enterprise established by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He first met Kenyatta in 1940, when he interviewed him for an article for his publication. This marked the beginning of a friendship which saw him elected secretary of the Kenya African Union, with Kenyatta as its chairman. It was Oneko who introduced Jaramogi to Kenyatta, and in a way shaped the destiny of this country.

In his capacity as KAU official, Oneko was sent by the party to Paris, then the seat of the League of Nations – the precursor to the United Nations – to articulate the tribulations Kenyans were going through under the white colonial rule.

On October 20, 1952, he was arrested together with other freedom icons, Fred Kubai, Bildad Kaggia, Kungu Karumba, Paul Ngei and Kenyatta.

His agitation for a free and just Kenya saw him spend nine years in colonial jail. After independence, he was detained for six more years by his erstwhile comrade, Kenyatta, after falling out and his joining the Kenya People’s Union fronted by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

He died in 2007.