Saturday, July 27, 2013



Argwings CMG Kodhek was born in 1923 in Nyawara, Gem, Siaya in central Nyanza. He was educated at Yala {now popularly called st Mary's], Maseno and Makerere University College then, in Uganda. In 1947 he got a further scholarship to the University of South Wales, graduating as a lawyer and social scientist in 1949. From there he went st Andrews in Scotland. He returned to colonial Kenya at around 1951 and went into legal practice as the first black, and worse, married to a white, Tate Mavis. That was not done in colonial apartheid societies.
Kodhek took to the defence of Mau Mau freedom fighters and other patriots who ran foul of colonial law. So he had no shortage of clients, just time and money. With a huge intellect, confrontational personality, solid education, perfect mastery of the colonial language, murderous humor and wit, Kodhek ran rings around colonial courts. One day, having out argued a chief-justice who still thought blacks could not practice english law, in exasperation he jabbed:
Woe and wilt upon Brittania, that she chooses to export the most stupid and vile of her sons to civilise Africa! Oh mistaken queen, come and evacuate these simpletons who understand nothing of you, neither your jurisprudence nor your languange. Their perfect idiocy insults your royal foolishness!

In 1956 he launched the NAIROBI DISTRICT AFRICAN CONGRESS. 1961-63 he was in the Legislative council [Legico], and after independence he became the KANU representative for Gem constituency.
He died JANUARY 29,1969 in puported road accident along the road which now bears his name[ Argwings Kodhek ] in Nairobi.
Ramogi then composed one of the saddest songs in contemporary Luo conciousness. I offer two versions, the recent one done by Tom Kodiyo, and the original one of 1969.


Anonymous said...
November 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM