Nabongo Mumia

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Nabongo Mumia (c.1852 – 1949) was a King or Paramount Chief of the Wanga Kingdom. He is regarded as its last great ruler largely because of his interaction with and management of the British colonial transition.


Nabongo Mumia was born a prince between 1849 and 1852. His parents were Nabongo Shiundu Wamukoya and Wamanya.

He was appointed heir on the eve of his father’s death. Mumia occupied a prominent place in British colonial administration from 1908 to 1926 and was recognised as the Paramount Chief. He ruled the Kingdom for 67 years from 1882 to 1949 in one of the longest reigns in African history.

The Wanga Kingdom was the most highly developed and centralised kingdom in Kenyan history before the advent of British colonialism. When the British arrived in Western Kenya in 1883, they found the Wanga Kingdom as the only organised state with a centralised hereditary monarch in the whole of what later came to be known as Kenya.

Mumia's royal background caused a dilemma to the colonial officers. He was “retired” by the colonial authorities in 1926, but maintained influence until his death on April 24, 1949. His daughter who died in 2012 at the age of 92. She left behind multiple descendants.