Tom Mboya’s mausoleum lies on family land at Kasawanga Village on the north side of the island, about 7km by the dirt road from Mbita, or roughly 5km directly across the island. The mausoleum (open most days to visitors) contains various mementoes and gifts Mboya received during his life.
THOMAS JOSEPH MBOYA
August 15th 1930 – July 5th 1969
Go and fight like this man
Who fought for mankind’s cause
Who died because he fought
Whose battles are still un won!
You don’t have to know anything about the man to be impressed. In any other surroundings his memorial might seem relatively modest, but on this barren, windswept shore, it stands out like a beacon. Mboya’s family live right next door and are happy to see foreign visitors, who rarely come here.
Mboya’s Mausoleum in Rusinga Island has become a historical site. It was built two years after his death.
This was the briefcase Mboya had when he was shot. The burial chamber, constructed in 1971, is the shape of the silver bullet believed to have ended the life of the former Cabinet minister.
The black flywhisk the youngest minister in the first Cabinet of 27 after independence carried to political functions is also displayed in the mausoleum.
“Go and fight like this man who fought for mankind’s cause who died because he fought whose battles are still known,” reads an inscription on the marble grave.
The national flag that draped the casket is also tacked in the mausoleum. Also on display is a certificate that made Mboya an honorary citizen of the Kansas City in the US in 1966.
The condolence book signed on the day Mboya was buried in his father’s compound 39 years ago is also among the highly valued items.
Also preserved for posterity is the black nameplate, a souvenir from the Chinese Government, that stood on the minister’s desk. Several flags of the countries he visited and whose leaders paid him a courtesy call are hoisted in the burial chamber.
People also have a lot of interest on the Bible with the holy water on top, which Mboya was given as a souvenir when on honeymoon in Israel in 1962.
The manicured mausoleum could pass as a pre-independence library.Books and laminated newspaper cuttings on the struggles for independence and the role Mboya played are at the entrance.
Several researchers travel from several corners of the world to dig information on pre-independence – most of which are on books written on Mboya.