Thomas Johnson Kuto Kalume

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The Late Honorable Reverend Thomas Johnson Kalume

Thomas Johnson Kuto Kalume was a Kenya politician and the first clergyman to be elected Member of Parliament (MP) in the history of the National Assembly of Kenya.

Kalume was a composer and co-producer of the Kenyan national anthem, which was recorded in English and Swahili in September 1963 and inaugurated at Uhuru Gardens on December 12, 1963 during Kenya's independence celebrations. The anthem bears an original African traditional tune from the Pokomo tribe in the coast.[1]

Kalume was born in Dagamra division of Bate location near the historical tourist town of Malindi. He belonged to the Kambe tribe, Taka clan from Kilifi, part of the larger Mijikenda ethnic community which has traditionally occupied the coastal region of Kenya.

Kalume, attended the prestigious Alliance High School, Kikuyu and proceeded to obtain a bachelor's degree in Divinity from the University of London. He later graduated with a master's degree in Theology from New York Theological Seminary.[2] He undertook the task of translating the Bible's New Testament directly from the Hebrew scriptures to Swahili.[3] Kalume was elected Member of Parliament in the 1969 Kenyan general election to represent Malindi North Constituency. He distinguished himself as an able, knowledgeable and conscientious representative of the people on many development issues leading to significant improvements in agriculture, education, health and infrastructural facilities.[4]

Kalume died on March 15, 1975, leaving behind a widow, Mama Rebeca Florence Naswa Kalume and nine children, six boys and three girls.


  1. ^ Selecting Kenya's National Anthem Archived 2014-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Kagema, DN. "An Assessment of Leadership Training for Mission" (PDF). University of South Africa. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  3. ^ "National Anthem (Kenya)". Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  4. ^ Kenya National Assembly Official Records (Hansard) February 6 - March 20, 1970