History Tag Archive

AM Jeevanjee: The Man Who Built Nairobi

Although the only thing that still bears his name in Nairobi today is a public park, Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee’s (AMJ) story is closely interwoven with the story of Nairobi’s beginnings. Jeevanjee was a businessman, politician, and philanthropist all packed into one stocky, curious, and illustrious immigrant who made Kenya his home.

10 Most Bizarre But Intriguing Patents Owned By Kenyans

By Chris Orwa and Owaahh. The idea behind patenting is to make sure you own the rights to something if it ever becomes a commercial success. But most ideas never make it past the design phases. Some, however bizarre, get patented. Patent Information from Strathmore University CIPIT and Directory Patent.

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.

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.

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 …

The Politics of the Miniskirt (and hippies) in Africa

This article was first published on Medium. Read the edited version on Mail and Guardian Africa.  The recent #MyDressMyChoice protests in Kenya have rekindled a debate that has plagued Africa since independence in the 1960s. Most African countries gained independence at about the same time two trends were catching on in the West.

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 …

The Brutal Unsolved Murder of Lucy Kabura

The hot and humid coastal air constricted into the Tangana Lodge’s dimly lit and badly ventilated rooms . The fragrance of purchased romance reigned over the humid evening air in the house of decadence. As the night came to a climax, the sounds of illicit sex, the loud banging on the walls, the rehearsed screams, …