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Social Note

During his meteoric rise in Kenya's black nationalist movement, moon-faced Tom Mboya, 31, has taken two wives, both of them in the simple tribal custom that permits any marriage to be dissolved whenever the partners decide to separate. Neither union worked, but last week he announced that he would take another stab at matrimony. This time the marriage would take place on a more permanent basis—in the Roman Catholic Church, to which Mboya has belonged ever since his childhood days in Catholic mission schools.

 

Bride-to-be is Pamela Odede B.A. (as the wedding invitations call her), a recent scholarship graduate of Western College in Oxford, Ohio. Along with the willowy, ebony-skinned bride of 23, the young trade-union boss will acquire added political prestige, for Pamela is the daughter of Walter Odede, for years a prominent African nationalist and close associate of | the revered Jomo Kenyatta. 

 

In the local tradition, it is Mboya who must pay a dowry for Pamela's hand, and Father Odede decided that 16 cows was about the right price. "It would have been twelve if I had been kind, or 24 if I had been harsh," he declared, adding reflectively, "No woman is worth more than 24 cattle."