Charles Njonjo, popularly called The Duke of Kabeteshire, was a veteran Kenyan freedom fighter and politician. He would remain a powerful man in the regime of President Kenyatta and thereafter President Moi. Rising to become the first post-independence Attorney General of Kenya is a legacy to behold in Charles Njonjo biography.
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The now fallen Njonjo is trending for all the right reasons including unwavering dedication to public service. His admirable life story goes on.
10 Profile facts in Charles Njonjo biography
The long-lived mogul, real names Charles Mugane Njonjo, is a historical figure with a good reputation in governance.
His ancestral home is in Kibichiko village within Kikuyu in Kiambu County. Who was Njonjo?
1. Charles Njonjo age was 101 years as of January 2022
Charles Mugane Njonjo died on January 2, 2022, at the age of 101 years. His sudden death came 3 weeks ahead of his 102nd birthday.
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Sources indicate he was born on January 23, 1920; a couple of years after World War I.
2. Njonjo was the son of a colonial chief Josiah Njonjo
Colonial Chief Josiah Njonjo was the father of Charles Mugane and James (brother).
Mr Josiah was a collaborator of British rule in Kenya. Even so, he enjoyed a good relationship with the anthropological family of Harry Leakey.
3. He was a Public Administration graduate from the University of Exeter, UK
Charles Njonjo attended the East African King’s College Budo (Uganda) in 1939. He also attended Alliance High School for his secondary education.
Thereupon, he joined the South African based Fort Hare University from where he attained a bachelor’s degree in English and South African Law in 1946.
He then enrolled at the University of Exeter in 1947 for Public Administration studies; graduating in 1949.
4. Njonjo was the second Kenyan African barrister
Njonjo’s childhood ambition in Law failed to grip because it was forbidden among African learners.
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Instead, the colonial masters enticed him with a Public Administration scholarship. On top of that, they promised him a slot in Provincial Administration.
After that, Njonjo enrolled in a London based law school, all against the will of the Kenyan based colonialists.
His decision resulted in the loss of all the privileges he was receiving from British colonialists.
The abandoned and desperate Njonjo met and became good friends with a Welshman solicitor called Elwyn Jones.
The Good Samaritan Jones admitted Njonjo in his Chambers, until 1952 when he was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn.
He would write history as the 2nd Kenyan barrister in 1952 after Chiedo More Gem Argwings-Kodhek who had been called to the Bar a year earlier at Lincoln’s Inn.
5. Njonjo was a 17 years Attorney General between 1963 and 1980
Returning to Kenya in 1954, Njonjo worked in various capacities including the State Law Office.
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In 1963, he succeeded Eric Newton Griffith-Jones QC as the first AG of the independent Kenyan government.
Njonjo would serve as an Attorney General for 17 years, mostly under President Jomo Kenyatta.
6. He is former MP of Kikuyu Constituency
Njonjo went straight into the National Assembly of Kenya in 1980. He became a member of parliament for Kikuyu Constituency at the age of 60 years.
In June 1980, President Moi appointed Njonjo the Minister for Home and Constitutional Affairs.
7. Charles Njonjo married at the age of 51 years
AG Charles Njonjo and his wife Margaret Bryson married in 1972.
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On returning to Kenya, he had a brief affair with Margaret Wanjiru Koinange; a close relative to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Njonjo and spouse Margret Bryson sired three children who are presently diverse careers.
Insider records have revealed that Njonjo was the best man in a wedding between Tom Mboya and his wife Pamela Odede.
8. The attempted coup of 1982 destroyed Njonjo’s political career
Njonjo and GG Kariuki were collectively accused of attempting to overthrow President Daniel Arap Moi.
As a result, they were forced to resign, never to regain their political positions again. For instance, Njonjo switched to become chairman of the East African Wildlife Society.
In 1998, Njonjo was appointed chair of the Kenya Wildlife Service. He would show open support for his close friend Raila Amollo Odinga in 2006.
9. Charles Njonjo death on January 2, 2022
The former AG Charles Njonjo died on January 2, 2022, Sunday, at 5 am. His passing on at the age of 101 years remains a mystery to many.
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A hiking search for Charles Njonjo diet is an indication that he is a long-lived role model to several Kenyans.
The family has confirmed that Njonjo died of pneumonia at his Muthaiga Home.
He was transferred to Lee Funeral Home for preparation and cremated within hours at the Kariokor Hindu Crematorium.
Carey Ngini, Njonjo’s son-in-law, has confirmed to KTN News that the fallen Attorney General left a wish indicating cremation immediately after death.
10. The stinking rich Njonjo family wealth of $3 billion lives on
Njonjo family net worth stands at $3 billion. The staggering amount is in the custody of Charles, 3 children, and his brother, James.
He amassed much of this amount from his business empires, rank as an MP, and role as an Attorney General.
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Mugane Charles Njonjo biography narratives the life story of a man who cherished the Kenyan story. His service to humanity will last for generations.