Steve Ouma Akoth and Makau Mutua

Makhan Singh is considered the father of the trade union movement in Kenya. In 1935, he formed the Labour Trade Union of Kenya, and in 1949, the East African Trade Union Congress. In this article, a foreword to ‘Unquiet: The Life and Times of Makhan Singh’ by Zarina Patel, Steve Ouma and Makau Mutua remember Singh and what his life means for present-day political life in Kenya.

Makhan Singh is among a select pantheon of Indian settlers who not only made Africa home but also became more