Why this Friday is Really good for Kenyan History

History pundits, knowledge junkies, archaeology enthusiasts, everyone! Get your knickers in a knot already! Christmas is here, early! The National Museums of Kenya wants you to enjoy the facilities under its care for free this Friday. 

It is our time to Thrive, it seems. April 18th is the International Day for Monuments and Sites and this is the first time we are commemorating it in KE. Hopefully, this offer will be an annual shindig for us kings and queens of cheap.

The NMK press release reads (excerpt)

As we approach the Easter period, we would also like to promote domestic tourism by offering FREE access to ALL our museums on 18th April, 2014. We will be extending this offer to Kenyan Citizens to encourage local visitation to our heritage attractions across the country. As a valued partner, and on behalf of the National Museums of Kenya Management, I invite you to join us in celebrating this day, which will be first ever marked in Kenya, as we embark on the promotion of Heritage Tourism.”

This means you can visit any museum near you this Friday at absolutely no cost. If your date is a history junkie, this is the perfect (and cost-effective) date. Hell, you can even make it cool by displaying your grasp of Kenyan pre-history, it is the Age of the Nerd after all. While you mull over it, RSVP on the Facebook event page and ask as many questions as you can.

The Nostalgia of years past, of school trips and family outings.

The Nostalgia of years past, of school trips and family outings.

Here’s a challenge @mougendi suggested: there are four museums and two monuments in or around Nairobi. Can you make them all in a day? If you have time, maybe one in a town near Nairobi too, like Nyeri or Hyrax Hill in Nakuru? The Nairobi list includes the Nairobi Railway Museum, FYI, but I still haven’t gotten a confirmation on whether it will be part of the offer as it is managed by Kenya Railways and not the NMK. Check this article later for updates.

It has already been a good year for Kenyan history so far, perhaps not as much as last year –the [email protected] celebrations created a ‘bubble’ of sorts for interest in history-but this is the year of enthusiasts to thrive. A Heritage Fiesta! The McMillan library [FINALLY] re-opened after a 2-year break. Its doors are open for anyone who wants to scour through old newspapers or to just sit and enjoy a good rare edition book. I haven’t been there yet to enjoy the refurbished facilities but I have scheduled it for a date soon, me and history, quality time.  I hope they did something about the diversity of the library though, one can only stare at Andrew Carnegie’s portrait for so long.

Image by @Wamathai

Image by @Wamathai

…and now a good Friday on Good Friday to scour through as many of Kenya’s museums as you can in a day. There are 18 museums and one snake park in KE and you have access to them all day Friday. Take her to the snake park, see if she resists holding your hand in public there [thank me later; if this fails, plead bananas].

Otherwise, if your history knickers are in a knot already, forward ho! Let’s prosper this Friday.

Update April 16th 2014 9:25 am : The Museums PR office confirmed that the Railway Museum is managed by Kenya Railways and not NMK. There is no word on whether the railway museum will offer  similar access.

Owaahh©, 2014