Imagine getting married in a beautiful wedding to the love of your life, living with a husband who was always in the spotlight and then after just seven years of marriage, just as the two of you are getting the hang of marriage life, his life is snubbed. Well that is the story of Pamela Arwa Mboya.
Pamela Arwa Odede was born in 1938 in Maseno Kisumu County. Her father Walter Odede was a local politician who instilled in his daughter the importance of having a good education. Pamela studied at two of the most prestigious Universities in the world that time, Makerere University in Uganda and Oxford University in the United States.
In 1962 a young Pamela wedded Thomas Joseph Adhiambo Mboya, the young, suave, charming black politician from Nyanza who was gunned down in 1969 while exiting a chemist on Government Road later renamed Tom Mboya Street. The wedding made headlines literary, Pamela was the epitome of beauty, elegance, youth and composure are what she exuded in the photos of her glamorous wedding which was attended by Jomo Kenyatta , Jaramogi Oginga and the flamboyant King Freddie Mutesa II the then Kabaka of Buganda. Their best man was the flamboyant lawyer Charles Njojo. Ebony magazine called the flashy affair '' the wedding of the year''
After the death of her husband at the tender age of 39, Pamela in honor of the Luo tradition was inherited by her husband's brother Alphonse Okuku with whom she had one child. Tom had left behind five children, one who died as a young boy. Her daughter Susan Mboya is wife to Nairobi's governor Evans Kidero.
Pamela was a trend setter. Her marriage to Kenya's most eligible bachelor made her name famous and hence a choice for many mothers who gave birth to baby girls that time. She was a role model who took her sudden widowhood with strength for the sake of her young children. She mingled with the high and mighty including Coretta Scott King wife of Martin Luther King Jr.
Pamela worked for the United Nations Development Programme and her commitment and professionalism saw her appointed Kenya's permanent representative to the UN Habitat. On 26th January 2009, while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, Pamela Mboya went to be with the lord. Leaving behind a legacy that will forever be remembered by those who knew her and those who read about her.