D udley Thompson moved in the spirit of a Pan-Africanism which for hundreds of years has impelled African descendants in the West towards new links with their African motherland. Born in Panama and raised to manhood in Jamaica, Thompson served in Britain's Royal Air Force during World War II. In England he interacted with such Pan-African greats as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, George Padmore of Trinidad and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.
After attending Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, Thompson practised law in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Kenya in the early 1950s. He quickly became involved in the nationalist struggles of both countries and was a close friend of Jomo Kenyatta and Julius Nyerere. It was Thompson who discovered the whereabouts of Kenyatta after the latter's abduction by the Brittish during Kenya's MauMau revolution. Thompson assembled the international legal team that came to Kenyatta's defence. Kenyatta himself as President of Kenya, placing his hand on Dudley Thompson sitting next to him said, "this man saved my life".
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