Quick Reads

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.

How Kenya almost became the New Zion (Israel)

Lost within the Kenyan story are proposals that would have redefined history. Three of those plans stand out: the establishment of a freed slave settlement, a Jewish settlement in the Mau Plateau, and a responsible government under a white settler minority.

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.

How Kenya got The Ten-Mile Coastal Strip

The ownership of Kenya’s coastline has been a matter of contention since the Sultan of Zanzibar officially signed it away in 1963. The claims for secession are often accompanied by the history of the great Zanzibar sultanate which once stretched to what is today the Kenyan coastline.

The Savage Mutilation of Piah Njoki, and her Incredible Spirit

At daybreak on November 4th, 1983, a scream cut through the serenity of Kiaga Village in Kirinyaga. The single scream quickly became cries for help, then wailing of what now sounded like a large group of people. What sounded like the cries of pain of a dying woman would lead residents of the small village …

Monica Njeri’s Killer Killed Again

In August 1980, Kenya arrested a US sailor for the murder of Monica Njeri in a drunken brawl. 32 years later, he killed three more women.

The South African Cop Who Robbed Banks during His Lunch Break

A tall man wearing a fake wig and a beard parked his hired car and walked towards the bank. He pushed through the door and walked in, right past the guard and towards one of the cashiers. It was a cold mid-morning in Durban, and the bank was not yet as busy as it would …

When the Mau Mau Used a Biological Weapon

Sometime in late 1952, a series of mysterious deaths occurred at a mission station in Kikuyu, Kenya. First, the victims, a herd of cows, developed large swellings near the forelegs. The swelling then spread over the course of several days, across the chest and abdomen. Then one after the other, the steeds fell and died.

How Kenya Almost Exported 300 Wild Animals to Thailand

In 2005, Kenya tried to export 300 wild animals to Thailand to a zoo that, apparently, was planning to turn them into exotic cuisine. It did not go well, obviously, and there was even a fist fight in a TV studio about the whole thing.