Kenyatta’s Six Minutes as an Actor, and why he never talked About It

In the trivia section of the IMDb profile of the film Sanders of the River (1935) lies this nugget “Jomo Kenyatta, who was President of Kenya from 1963 to 1978, had a bit part in this movie as a tribal chief.” It was a 6-minute role he never talked about, and with good reason.

The Mogadishu Airport Raid

One year and two months after Operation Entebbe, West Germany carried out a similar hostage rescue mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. They boarded Flight 181.

The Brain-Eating Bear that Haunted the Nandi

Sometime in 1925, a six-year-old girl disappeared from a village in Uasin Gishu. She was pulled violently through the fence of thorns that surrounded the village. The bloodied thorns suggested that chances of finding her alive were certainly nil. If they found her body, they would find her scalped and her skull cracked open. Chemosit, …

From ‘Shifta’ War to Al Shabaab: Why Kenya is her own worst enemy

When Kenya faced an insurgency problem in the 1960s, it tormented a people into submission. When it faced another in the 21st century, it secretly recruited their children to fight its war. The plan failed miserably, bringing Kenya to war with itself.

How salvage from a World War I Naval Battle ended up at the Kenya Railway Museum

If you have ever been to the Kenya Railways Museum, chances are you have walked right past an unassuming dining set. Unknown to many a viewer, that is the Wardroom Dining Set that was salvaged from a German warship that lost the Battle of the Rufiji Delta.

Did Ernest Hemingway Really Marry a Kamba Girl?

Celebrated American writer Ernest Hemingway made two trips to East Africa, one in the 1930s, and the other in the 50s. On the second trip, he fell in love with a Kamba girl named Debba and married her (and her sister) in a traditional ceremony. Apparently.

Lord Egerton’s Castle: A Monument to Unrequited Love

No love story in colonial Kenya is as tragic as that of Lord Maurice Egerton, the fourth Baron Egerton of Tatton in Cheshire. When he died in Njoro in 1958, he had never married. His lifelong bachelorhood was not by choice but rather the result of two refusals by the woman of his dreams.

When Kenya had a really ugly flag

Before Kenya had its current flag, it had a flag that was so poorly designed that the lion in it looked like it was in the middle of a sad dance. Whoever put that lion there had either never seen one, or had a poor memory. Or had let his three-year-old have a go at it designing the colony's flag.

The Sack of Baltimore

Sometime in mid-1631, a pirate flotilla left Algiers, one of the main ports on the Barbary Coast. The main ship was a Dutch-built 300-ton man-of-war, armed with about 24 pieces of ordinance. It was crewed by 200 men. The smaller ship was half that size in both weight and crew. The flotilla was commanded by Captain …