African Leaders Mentored By Marcus Garvey

  | 3 min read
Marcus Garvey

While most mentorship relationships happen between people who are close to one another, it is possible for them to happen between people who have never met. This kind of mentorship takes place where as a mentee, you actively seek out information about a mentor and then model your actions on those of the mentor.

Marcus Garvey, one of the greatest leaders of the Pan-African movement, was one such mentor who indirectly mentored many African leaders through his teachings. The leaders actively used his teachings in colonial and postcolonial Africa. Here are 5 African leaders who greatly benefited from the teachings of the great Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.

  1. Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

The first elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba is remembered for his great contribution towards the end of the colonial rule of Belgians in Congo. He was a great supporter of Pan-Africanism and strongly advocated for the end of colonial rule in Africa. Just like his mentor Marcus Garvey, Lumumba envisioned a united Congo which was free of colonial and external influences. He advocated for strong African structures and governance systems, which would help Africans and more specifically the people of Congo, navigate their own unique circumstances.

  1. Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Seen as the father of modern South Africa, Mandela remains a political icon across the world. He famously led the anti-apartheid movement, which ushered in African leadership in South Africa. Mandela often stated that he admired Marcus Garvey and was a keen student of his teachings on Pan-Africanism. Mandela was greatly involved in African Nationalist politics and vehemently fought for an end to racial segregation in South Africa.

  1. Steve Biko

Steve Biko

Another South African on the list, Steve Biko was a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement, which returned power to black South Africans. He is remembered as one of the founders of South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, which was influenced by the teachings of Marcus Garvey and advocated for African Nationalism.

  1. Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah is one of Ghana’s iconic leaders, having led the push to the end of colonial rule in the country. Nkrumah first encountered Marcus Garvey’s work when he was a college student in the United States and they greatly influenced his version of the struggle for an independent Ghana. Due to So influential was Garvey on Nkrumah, that the later went ahead to name the national shipping line, ‘The Black Star Line’ and Ghana’s flag has a black star in the middle.

  1. Jomo Kenyatta

Jomo Kenyatta

Finally, our very own Jomo Kenyatta was a student of Garvey’s teachings of unification and Pan-Africanism. Kenyatta, Kenya’s first Prime Minister and later, president, was greatly influenced by the teachings of Garvey on African pride and made efforts to create a unified Kenya after independence, his vision being the social and economic development of the country.

Marcus Garvey had a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of people across the world. Through his teachings and ideologies, he mentored many people who formed various political organisations based on his ideologies. His greatest impact was on different liberation movements across the world, and especially in Africa, where many countries were clamouring for independence.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.


  1. it’s interesting, information is power. history counts. I would be glad if I was part of the argument.

    • Hi Onyango,
      Thank you for reading.
      We are agree that information is power and we should be proud from where we came from.


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